Phonics & Reading
Reading is a fundamental life skill and as such we place a huge amount of importance on the development of good phonological knowledge and the acquisition of early reading skills.
We have invested a great deal of money in the last twelve months on improving the phonics and reading resources throughout the school at all levels to ensure that all our readers are inspired by the highest quality reading resources.
Our Reading Scheme
Our main reading scheme is The Oxford Reading Tree which takes readers on a journey from picture books at Stage 1, through phonics books to advanced texts that progress up to Stage 16. Many of our children will remain on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme right through the primary school, however, along the way, we supplement their experience of reading with texts from our banded books, which are housed alongside our reading scheme and are designed to broaden the overall reading experience.
Progression Beyond the Reading Scheme
Pupils who have become fluent readers and have developed a good understanding of a wide range of texts (both fiction and non-fiction) may progress onto ‘Free Readers’ at the discretion of the class teacher. Free readers are colour coded to reflect the age appropriate contents of each text. Age bands are 7-8 years, 9-10 years, 11-12 years and 12 years +. A large number of new reading books have been bought this year as an incentive to encourage able readers in each year group onto Free Readers and engage them in a love of books and reading.
To ensure the teaching of phonics is consistent throughout the Early Years and KS1, all staff have either attended the two-day Read, Write Inc phonics training or been trained in house.
In the Early Years (Nursery & Reception) systematic daily phonics is taught, using the Read, Write Inc scheme. This scheme also has reading books to enhance phonological awareness and promote early reading skills through high quality, fun texts. These books are used each day, during the phonics sessions.
In Year 1 & Year 2, staff also teach daily phonics but the pupils are grouped into the phonics phases to ensure all learning needs are met. These daily sessions also include the use of special reading books to advance reading skills. Children from KS2 who are identified as needing a boost to their phonics knowledge also attend these daily sessions. Children are screened regularly to ensure rapid progress is achieved.
The pupils in Years 3 to 6 who are on-track with their phonological development are taught age-appropriate spellings, which are sent home each Friday to be tested the following Friday.
Reading in the Early Years
Children in Early Years read to an adult team member twice a week. Picture books and library books of interest are sent home weekly. Bookmarks will be sent home with each book to give parents support in how to read to or with their child using the books that come home from school.
Reading books from the Oxford reading Tree Scheme will not be sent home early in the school year, but as the teachers feel the child is ready to access the books in relation to their phonological knowledge.
Children will read a ‘Ditty a day’ in class. These are short stories linked to the sounds that they are learning during phonics sessions.
Reading in Year 1 and Year 2
All children are heard read at least one a week by the class teacher in Guided Reading sessions. Additional reading practice occurs on two afternoons each week during ‘planning time’. Targeted reading groups are identified each term to support the development of reading for those children who may be falling behind. Bookmarks will be sent home with each book to give parents support in how to read to or with their child using the books that come home from school.
Adult volunteers also attend school regularly to listen to readers but we encourage parents to listen to their child read every day and record what they have read and how they have read in the School Journal.
Reading in Years 3 to 6
All children are heard read at least one a week by the class teacher in Guided Reading sessions. Additional reading practice occurs in targeted reading groups twice a week during assembly time. A specific scheme (Project X) has been bought to support struggling readers in KS2.
Bookmarks will be sent home with each book to give parents support in how to read to or with their child using the books that come home from school.
Adult volunteers also attend school regularly to listen to readers but we encourage parents to listen to their child read every day or to ‘Strive for 5’ (read at least five times a week) and record what they have read and how they have read in the School Journal.
Guided reading takes place in Year 1 – Year 6 each week with each group of pupils. Guided Reading takes place outside English lessons. Guided Reading stickers are used to notify parents that their child has taken part in Guided Reading with the class teacher or support staff. These sessions are designed to teach children the necessary skills for reading well and to assist teachers in monitoring children’s progress in reading.
During Guided Reading sessions, which occur Monday – Thursday from 9.00-9.30 in KS2, one group of children is guided by the teacher, one group is taking part in a follow-up activity in class, one group is reading for pleasure in the school library and one group is in the computer room, reading with their reading buddy.
The school has a subscription with First News, a children’s newspaper, which is published each week. Classes have access to the newspaper at different times throughout the year and weekly in reading for pleasure in the school library.
Reading Journals are used in KS2 for children to record their responses to texts, usually during follow-up sessions/activities which are planned by the teacher. This then provides a strong evidence base for assessing pupils’ understanding in relation to age related expectations of the new National Curriculum.
The School Library
The school library is a magical place and houses all our fiction and non-fiction reading books. The library reference books have been catalogued using the Dewey system and library skills training is given to all children so they can learn to use the library properly to support their learning. All classes are encouraged to use the library as regularly as possible to engage children in the wonder of books and the joy of reading. The school library is also used at a reading for pleasure environment for KS2 as part of the guided reading programme.
The Local Library
Visits to the local library are planned regularly for Y1 – Y6. All children in school are members of Silloth Library.
The school has an ongoing reading challenge called ‘Strive for Five’, which has made a real difference to the amount of reading done at home each day. The children try to read at least 5 times each week and work towards bronze, silver and gold awards each term.