One of the aims stated in our English Policy is for children to develop a love of reading and appreciation of literature for both enjoyment and information. We recognise that reading skills develop over time and we acknowledge that these begin with a good phonic knowledge. It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of their background.
We encourage understanding, interpreting, engaging with and responding to texts by providing classroom book corners with a wide range of reading matter and opportunities for children to select materials independently from both fiction and non-fiction. We also have a wide range of resources in school to support reading, including a range of ‘big books’, story sacks, CDs and reading practise texts. Many of our resources are purchased by the Friends’ fund raising. Children are also encouraged to take books home from the school library.
We have always placed a strong emphasis on the significance of phonics knowledge for the teaching and learning of both reading and writing. Phonics teaching begins in Reception and continues throughout school in daily sessions. TO support teaching, we use a wide range of resources including phonic cards, games and classroom displays. In September 2021, we introduced Little Wandle Letters and Sounds (Revised) scheme as our chosen phonics and reading scheme. This validated SSP (Systematic Synthetic Phonics) programme begins in Reception where children follow the sequence and structure of the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme. The children are taught in whole class groups and are assessed regularly; those children who are identified as needing support will receive “keep up” sessions which are taught in smaller groups or individually if/when required.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme provides a library of phonically matched books which are used during ‘Reading Practise’ sessions. Children in Reception & Year 1 will read the same book three times a week in a group with an adult. Lesson one focuses on decoding, lesson 2 on prosody and lesson 3 on comprehension. Once the children are able to read the book independently, it is shared with parents via the Collins Big Cat e-book library.
Children in Reception & Year 1 have access to the Collins Big Cat e-book library and children in Year 2 have access to Bug Club for their ebooks. Please click on this link to be taken to the section of our school website where links to external websites can be found.
Children in Reception and Year 1 also take home “sharing texts” to read alongside the Little Wandle scheme until children reach an agreed level of fluency and comprehension. In Year 2, children take home book banded books which link to PM Benchmarking and the Oxford Reading Tree progression. Other scheme which are in school currently link to this include Project X, Snapdragons, Pearson, Rigby Star, Ladybird Reading, Dandelion Readers and Collins Big Cat. E-books for Year 2 children are also provided using Bug Club.
Supporting Your Child
Parents are encouraged to support children’s learning of phonics by using the sound cards and tricky word cards which are sent home weekly, starting in Reception. Parents are also invited into school to join us in ‘Fun with Phonics’ sessions within Reception and Year 1.
Children are expected to read at home daily and for the parent/carer to record comments in the Reading Records. We encourage a broad and balanced reading diet including the use of ‘sharing books’ which children will take home to read alongside an adult to encourage discussion/wider reading skills.
We welcome volunteers into school to hear and read with children. Please see our ‘Helping in School’ section of the website for more information around how you can help!
The correct pronunciation of sounds is crucial when supporting children with their reading. It is normal for parents to find this a little tricky as learning to read through phonics is not something we all experienced in our own schooling! We hold regular “Fun With Phonics” sessions in school where you can come and join phonics lessons and find out for yourselves how we teach early reading. We also strongly encourage parents to practice the correct pronunciation of sounds. If you click/tap on the picture here, you will be taken to the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds parent section which will show you how to say each of the sounds correctly.
The Masked Reader
As part of our Readathon, some of our school staff took part in the “Masked Reader”! Just like the Masked Singer, can you work out who the readers are?