Reading and Phonics
Reading is an integral part of everything we do at Bewley Primary. We believe that reading is key to academic success and we are dedicated to developing our children into lifelong readers.
We aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning experiences and opportunities, which will help them to:
- gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and love of books.
- read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
- apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
- be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
- develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
- read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
- develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
- read fluently and with confidence.
All children take part in daily, whole class reading related lessons that develop their decoding, blending, word recognition, fluency and comprehension skills. In addition to this, staff make use of opportunities across the curriculum to further improve and consolidate children’s reading skills.
EYFS & KS1 – Reading
Video – Introducing Read Write Inc
Our pupils learn to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. Using a consistent assessment system, it allows us to group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading. This ensures that well differentiated lessons are provided for all children and that any child at risk of falling behind, is identified quickly and necessary support is put in place. It also fosters rapid progress.
Starting in Nursery, our children are introduced to sounds through play when they are ready, before learning to decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly. They rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly. This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings – common exception words.
We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence in their own reading abilities. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluency. Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils which they are soon able to read for themselves.
The grid below shows the progression children make through the Read Write Inc Phonics stages and the sounds learnt in each Set.
Most children complete the Read Write Inc. programme in the Autumn term of Year 2; however, those children who need further focus on decoding, blending and their fluency continue to have phonics teaching into KS2 to meet their needs.
In EYFS, children begin to develop their comprehension skills in Read Write Inc. lessons and also more broadly during story time session.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, children build on their reading comprehension in daily, whole class VIPERS sessions. Teachers focus explicitly on teaching the skills of reading; vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve and sequence or summarise. Reading VIPERS cover the key comprehension skills in line with the ‘new’ content domains.
We use ‘Literacy Shed Plus’ which provides our teachers with a range of high quality texts, films and animations to enhance the teaching of reading. All of our class texts are interconnected with our termly topics, which allows children to make links and gain a deeper understanding of topic content.
Reading at Home
Every child, in every year group has access to stimulating, high-quality texts matched to their reading ability. Our main reading scheme, Oxford Reading Tree, is complemented with other book series to provide quality reading material covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reference books. We also offer a full online eBook library which ensures access to quality books too. These eBooks match the reading scheme in school that are colour banded according to their level of difficulty.
From Nursery through to Year 6, all children are provided with reading books to take home weekly. Initially, in EYFS, this may be a storybook to share with adults. As children progress and learn letter sounds and develop the ability to blend, then they are given books to take home that are matched to their phonic knowledge. Once they become confident, fluent readers then they are given books to further develop their understanding. All children are expected to read at least 3 times a week and reading progress is reviewed regularly.
Children should take their books home daily and we ask parents to make constructive comments on our electronic reading log. We recognise and value our shared role with parents in encouraging children in reading, not only in the strategies for learning to read but also to develop understanding, give opinions and extract information.
Over their time in school, our children develop into enthusiastic readers who enjoy showcasing their literacy knowledge and skills. They grow in confidence to challenge themselves in their reading, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our attainment trend at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 sees us meeting or exceeding the local and national averages at each assessment point.
The impact of our curriculum is visible in:
- Standards in attainment in reading at the end of and between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
- Strong outcomes in phonics.
- Access to high quality texts both in the classroom and for use at home, which has fostered a love of reading.
- Children’s knowledge and understanding of the reading VIPERS that has supported and improved their comprehension skills.
- A curriculum that is accessible and engaging for pupils of all abilities.
- Stimulating classrooms and outdoor environments that inspire staff and pupils to explore the key skills in English.
- The cross-curricular opportunities that are made to support and extend children’s knowledge and understanding of the world.
Exciting and enjoyable experiences both in and out of school or virtually, which are memorable and inspire children in their work and wider lives.