Phonics and Reading

‘The best reading environment is one where there is an expectation of pleasure in reading, where there is excitement in talking about books and enjoyment in being read to.’

It is our aim to create a whole school  reading community based on a love of reading and books, that will support our pupils to become life-long learners and want to read for pleasure.

To ensure the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics at our school, we follow the Lisle Marsden Progression in Phonics schedule. This document is based on the content of the Letters and Sounds programme with support from Jolly Phonics. Children in Reception are introduced to their phonic learning in a multi-sensory way, with actions and songs to accompany each sound as it is presented. They learn to blend sounds into words for reading and segment words into sounds for spelling. They are also taught to recognise ‘tricky words’ which are words that have irregular spellings such as ‘was’ and ‘the’.

As children progress in their phonic learning, they move through the six phonic phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. By phase six, children are becoming fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

We use a combination of reading schemes across the school. These include Phonics Bug, Bug Club, Rigby Star, Ginn Pocket Books and Project X. In addition to this each classroom has a well-resourced classroom library and defined reading area. Through these resources we provide many opportunities to promote reading for pleasure. Books are of the highest quality and a are designed to meet age related expectations in reading standards as well as providing a breadth of modern and classic fiction. These reading resources have been chosen with a view to captivating children’s interest and facilitating discussion so they include a variety of rich, multi-layered stories as well as non-fiction texts by top quality authors and illustrators. Many Titles have been carefully selected from the STAT and Power of Reading book lists.

We also take part in Book Study. This is based on the Power of Reading programme whereby all children gain an entitlement to being read quality fiction texts by world renowned authors. Book study provides the opportunity for all children to investigate these texts at a much deeper level which in turn promotes both an appreciation of reading and the desire to read. All children experience at least one Book Study text each term.

As well as through phonics children are taught to read at a higher level through: Shared Reading, Guided Reading lessons, and Independent Reading. Guided reading is taught through Rigby Star and Bug Club texts at Key Stage 1 and Rigby Navigator and age related classroom library texts at Key stage 2.

Shared reading – Teacher Modelling

Demonstrate how to use a range of comprehension strategies:

To model active engagement with the text, for example rehearsing prior knowledge, generating mental images, making connections with other texts;

To plan opportunities for children to interact and collaborate, for example ask ‘why’ questions, make comparisons between texts;

To demonstrate how fluent readers monitor and clarify their understanding, for example encourage reciprocal teaching

To plan opportunities to interpret and respond to the text, for example teach strategies for using inference and deduction. Plan direct instruction so that children can:

To develop a wider vocabulary;

To understand why words are spelt in a particular way;

To learn to read and spell an increasing number of words by sight.

Guided reading – Guided Practice

Support children as they:

To apply word level learning to decode words;

To actively engage with the text;

To monitor their own understanding and prompt them to utilise different strategies when solving reading problems. Scaffold opportunities for children to use different reading comprehension  strategies, for example using the strategy modelled in the shared reading session and applying in to a new text. Encourage children to explain how they solved a word problem. Encourage personal response and reflection.

Independent reading – Independent practice and autonomy

Expect children to:

To use word level learning independently;

To monitor their own understanding and choose an appropriate strategy when necessary;

To engage with and respond to texts, for example in a reading journal.

We also have a very well stocked school library with a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, Pupils are able to access the library throughout their years at school to support class work and research as well as providing access to books to support reading for pleasure. The majority of pupils at our academy now have access to an ipad and the academy subscribes to a number of online reading support materials. Children can access hundreds of quality age related fiction and non-fiction- texts  to aid their reading development both at school and at home.