Reading and Phonics
All teachers have the highest expectation that children will become proficient readers by the end of Key Stage 1 through our systematic, consistent implementation of our chosen phonic programme.
The intent behind our phonics approach is to:
- Deliver a high-quality systematic synthetic phonics programme of proven effectiveness is followed with rigour and fidelity so that children are taught consistently to use phonics as the route to reading unknown words.
- Ensure pace of the phonics programme is maintained so that children become fluent, independent readers by the end of year 1.
- Ensure children’s reading books show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know to support decoding skills.
Phonics is implemented through the Letters and Sounds programme. Children in Nursery are immersed in Phase 1 phonics, delivered through taught sessions and in the moment through their play and storytelling. The Phase 2 programme of teaching begins as children enter Reception; with the expectation that they will be fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of key stage one.
- We ensure the teaching of phonics is systematic and consistent across school. The lessons are always taught at a fast pace to ensure children are highly engaged for the sessions.
- Teaching extends beyond ‘dedicated time’ and is applied and reinforced when appropriate throughout day. Teaching of the programme is not necessarily limited to former NLS ’20 minutes’ and is evident across all curriculum areas and in EYFS/KS1 provision.
- Children’s decodable reading books are carefully matched to their phonic knowledge and which do not require use of alternative strategies. These books are organised in the given sequence in our chosen SSP programme i.e. reading books build letter-sound correspondences cumulatively, therefore children’s reading books are fully decodable at child’s current level to aid fluency.
- Parents are helped to know how best to support children in learning sounds through our phonics workshops throughout the year.
- Reading at home is strongly promoted. Teachers ensure that children understand how to work appropriately with decodable books and with shared texts.
Phonics is taught in a whole class approach. Any gaps in knowledge are addressed through 5-minute boxes (additional to whole class phonics sessions) from the start of the year in order for children to ‘keep up’ with their peers. Therefore, the children then move through the phase groups as one group together, Regular progress meetings are held with all reading teachers in KS1 to monitor children making slowest progress. Children in danger of falling behind, or who are working under expected levels (lower 20%), are swiftly identified and enough additional support provided to enable them to keep up.
The impact of our consistent and systematic teaching of our phonics programme is that children become fluent readers by the end of KS1. We measure the impact of our phonics approach through half termly phonic assessments. This helps the teachers identify gaps which then inform 5 minute boxes within class. Senior Leaders in school complete phonic learning walks termly which show outstanding teaching of phonics.
Reading is integral to every part of our curriculum. Children have exposure to a wealth of high-quality texts, feeding their imagination and instilling a lifelong love of reading.
The intent behind our approach to Reading is to:
- Promote a love of reading
- Ensure that every child learns to read to a high standard of fluency and understanding, regardless of their background, needs or prior attainment
- Close the ‘word gap’ by expanding pupils' vocabulary and deepen their understanding of the texts they are reading
Reading is implemented through a holistic approach, whereby children are reading across the curriculum.
Children in EYFS and Year 1 are read to every day, with the opportunity to read individually, in pairs and in small groups as part of a whole class session.
Through our daily Whole Class Reading sequence, children answer comprehension questions, linked to the reading domains, which require them to think deeply and connect their thinking to evidence from the text. Children have a broad reading diet, and are exposed to many genres and a range of authors both 'Old and Gold' and 'New and Bold'. There are daily opportunities for teachers to model reading, which gives the children opportunity to understand what is being read as well as listen to excellent use of expression and intonation.
The ongoing assessment of children’s reading progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind. Where a child falls behind, targeted support is given immediately in line with our ‘Keep up, not catch up’ policy.
To develop pupils’ understanding and use of spoken language: Pupils’ vocabulary, grammar, understanding of the world, and their ability to communicate effectively are improved through the quality and variety of language they are exposed to through; unpicking key vocabulary from a quality text with a heavy emphasis on revisiting unfamiliar vocabulary daily.
In EYFS, reading is a priority. We focus on developing fluency, confidence and enjoyment of reading. Throughout the day in play through our in the moment approach to teaching and learning and during story time, adults will consistently model language, vocabulary and syntax both from books and stories, seeking to introduce new and challenging vocabulary.. We will not shy away from words deemed ‘too tricky’. Stories and books, as well as opportunities to blend simple words, are evident in all areas of the classroom to support play-based learning. There are high quality texts in our cosy reading areas to inspire a love of books and provide the opportunity for children to tell stories and read individually, in pairs and in small groups. EYFS and KS1 have daily 20 minute storytelling time where children explore books and create their own narratives.
Teachers encourage reading for pleasure by:
- Reading out loud to children at least once a day
- Providing time and space for children to share their recommendations and opinions
- Using our library to explore a variety of texts
- Encouraging reading at home. Children take home books that closely match the letter-sound correspondences, but also are also able to take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book from our Library.
- Developing children’s rich ‘reading diet’ and knowledge of literature. Children are given the opportunity to personally respond to texts, debating and developing links to other texts, authors and prior knowledge.
- Regular 'Reading Cafes' and community engagement
- Using Reading Corners linked to our core text
The impact of our approach to Reading is that children are excited to read and frequently recommend and talk about their favourite authors and texts. All our children are given the opportunity to access ‘above pay grade texts’, giving them chance to feel challenged and make outstanding progress. We focus on children having FLUENCY, CONFIDENCE AND ENJOYMENT of reading.