Our approach to reading
Our approach to reading is based on the teaching of synthetic phonics, using Letters and Sounds as a base.
Phonics teaching starts in reception with phase 2 Letters and Sounds. Children learn both the sound and the grapheme at the same time, building up on knowledge of sounds, practicing blending and segmenting to decode and understand the meaning of the words on the page.
Phonics teaching continues into year 1 and year 2. At the end of Year 1 children take the statutory Phonics Screening Test, retaking it in Year 2 if they have not already achieved the threshold pass rate the previous year.
Within KS2 phonics support continues for those in need of this intervention, using Sound Discovery to complement the later phases of Letters and Sounds.
The school believes that children exposed to books and being read to at an early age is important for a child’s understanding of the written word. For those who have had little exposure to reading in Reception they have the opportunity to share picture books, with no words initially, so that children can understand the process or reading, turning pages and going from left to right.
During early reading, reception use Project Phonics, Phonics Bugs and Big Cat schemes to underpin and complement the letters and sounds phonics scheme. These schemes allow for a gentle progression of decoding and comprehension to ensure children can read and understand texts for meaning. From Year 1 children use two main reading schemes: Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat
Reading and Comprehension is also taught through Guided Reading sessions planned into class timetables. In KS1 we use a Rigby Stars scheme as well as supplementing it with whole texts from the Scholastic Read and Respond series.
Stories are shared daily in every class, through a class book at the end of the day and also through other opportunities such as National Storytelling Week, Readathons, World Book Day, Family reading cafes and as part of our daily form of collective worship.
In addition the school tests children every half term on their decoding, using the Salford Reading test. This test compares children’s reading ages with their chronological age. Any child falling below their chronological age receives short term targeted intervention to allow them to catch up with their peers.
Children are also given spellings to help with their words, initially these are from the 100 and 200 High Frequency word listings, but within KS2, these are taken from the New National Curriculum 2014 word lists.
Each class has developed their own reading area to engage children in the love of reading. These have been developed to encourage independent reading and a long term love of books, vocabulary and literature.
Once children become confident readers, they have the opportunity to also choose books from our library. To aid them in their choice the library has been “book banded” by comprehension and reading ability. This allows children to be challenged, at an appropriate level, with vocabulary that is not too easy or too difficult.
As part of our vision to develop independent learners, our reading approach allows children to develop their reading ability which allows them to engage with the curriculum fully and will in time allow them to engage in society.
We have also started using a Talk4Writing approach which allows children to understand, act out and know a story well before developing it further. This approach is known as the 3Is - imitation, invention and innovation.
If you would like to know further about our reading and phonics schemes, please come and ask.