How we teach reading and Phonics


Read Write Inc


From Nursery we teach a Read Write session for half an hour a day. The children in Nursery and Reception are grouped according to their ability within the class. Children from Year 1 onwards are put into small groups (from 4-15 children) by their “stage not age”. The sessions consist of explicit teaching of synthetic phonics and blending of sounds to read words. The children also have a book to read and discuss over several days. The children often read in pairs and are encouraged to give each other plenty of praise. The books are grouped into colours according to difficulty. The children are assessed every half term and re-grouped. When the children reach the expected standard for Year 2 in reading they have completed the program and begin to do spelling, punctuation, grammar and reading lessons.


Phonics Screening Check


From 2012 a National Phonics Screening Check has been introduced. Year 1 children’s ability to read and blend sounds is assessed and submitted in the summer term. Children who do not pass the phonics screening check then receive extra support in year 2 and are re-tested in the summer term.


1:1 Reading


We read with children as regularly as we are able in school and increase the frequcney of reading 1:1 depending on children's needs. 1:1 reading is a valuable experience for early readers, so we ask that parents and carers support us by reading with children at home. Children are expected to read at home every day. This not only supports pupils in developing their fluency, but also fosters a reading habit and love of reading. Pupils who read regularly generally achieve better in school. We have a large range of books in school, including books by the Oxford Reading Tree. All of our individual reading books are colour coded depending on the level of difficulty. Children are encouraged to change their own reading book on a regular basis which is monitored by the class teacher. Once the children have reached the end of the colour banded scheme they become “free readers” and can choose any book to read. We also allow children access to the school library and they can check out books using our electronic library system. 


High Frequency Words


From Reception, children practise reading high frequency words. These are then tested every half term and a record of how many words the children can read is then kept by each teacher. Once the children have learnt all of the high frequency words that children are expected to be able to read from Reception to Year 2 they then begin to learn the medium frequency words.

 

Whole Class Reading Lessons

 

Each class has at least three whole class reading sessions each week. In these sessions we teach the children the skills they need to be good readers, such as skimming and scanning, reading around the word to understand new vocabulary and making inferences. We have a whole school termly overview of themes and we teach the National Curriculum content domains within these themes. The themes are as follows:

TERM 1

TERM 2

TERM 3

Fluency and confidence

Developing decoding and fluency in reading aloud. Developing self-checking. Focus on enjoyment of reading, sharing books, stories and other texts.

Inference and deduction

Making inferences on the basis of what has been said and done. Deducing and predicting from what has been read.

Author's Choices- language & structure

Commenting on writer's purpose. Discussing the effect of writer’s choices in language and structure on the reading.

 

Retrieval

Retrieving information from texts, including non-fiction. Using speed reading skills e.g. skim/scan and identification of key information e. g. key word finding.

Words in context

Developing skills in understanding new words in context, e.g. reading around the word, considering spelling patterns etc.

 

Summarising and Comparing

Discussing what has been read, summarising key points and themes across a range of reading. Comparing what has been read to other texts and personal experiences.

 

Drop Everything And Read

We know it is important for children to have good models of reading and we are passionate about fostering a love of reading. Therefore, everyday, in every class, the class teacher spends 15 minutes reading aloud to children and sharing books. We choose these books carefully to make sure they are challenging, cater to children's tastes, provide a good model of writing and are from a diverse range of authors, representative of the community we serve. 

Reading at the Heart of the Curriculum

At Ash Hill we adopt the Talk for Writing strategy to teach English. This means that our pupils learn and study a text before using it to inspire their own writing. We believe reading opens the doors to all other areas of the curriculum, therefore we adopt our English text as the stimulus for our topic work. For example, in Year 2 pupils study Mrs Armitage on Wheels, using this story as a stimulus to learn about the properties of materials in Science and to develop their Design Technology skills through building a new mode of transport for Mrs Armitage.