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Early Reading and Phonics

20A - St Wilfrid's School Life 2023 - By Mike Moss Photography -68A

Intent

At St. Wilfrid’s C.E. Primary School, our aim is to help children to develop fluency in, and a love for, the English language through the spoken and written word. We want our children to be fluent, confident readers. The children will be exposed to a wealth of rhymes, poems, stories and non fiction to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and engender a genuine love of reading and a keen interest in a range of texts. We work to inspire our children to become life-long readers who enjoy books and have a desire to read for pleasure.

Implementation

Daily phonics lessons

We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This scheme is part of the DfE approved list of phonics schemes. Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.

We teach phonics daily. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.

Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress (see link at the end of the document).

  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phases 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.

Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read

Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning. We use the Rapid Catch-up assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Rapid Catch-up resources – at pace. These short, sharp lessons last 15-20 minutes daily and have been designed to ensure children quickly catch up to age-related expectations in reading.

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week.

The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • Decoding
  • Prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • Comprehension: teaching children to understand the text

In Reception these sessions start in the first half term in autumn. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books. In Years 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.

Home reading

The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.

Ensuring consistency and pace of progress

  • Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read.
  • Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.
  • Lesson templates, Prompt cards and ‘How to’ videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.
  • The Early Phonics Lead, English Lead and SLT regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.

 Ensuring reading for pleasure

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

  • We read to children every day.
  • We choose our ‘sharing’ books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books
  • In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day
  • Children from Reception onwards have access to an online home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school.
  • Adults in school monitor our online reading record system weekly.
  • Each class regularly visits the school l library

Impact

Assessment

Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it. Assessment for learning is used:

  • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
  • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings

Summative assessment for Reception and Year 1 is used:

  • every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
  • by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.

 Fluency assessments measure children’s accuracy and reading speed in short one-minute assessments. They are used:

  • in Year 1, when children are reading the Phase 5 set 3, 4 and 5 books
  • with children following the Rapid Catch-up programme in Years 2 to 6, when they are reading the Phase 5 set 3, 4 and 5 books
  • to assess when children are ready to exit their programme. Upon exiting children should have sufficient fluency to tackle any book at age related expectations. After exiting their programme, children do not need to read any more fully decodable books.

A placement assessment is used:

  • with any child new to the school in Reception and Year 1 to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.

The Rapid Catch-up assessment is used:

  • with any child new to the school in Year 2 and above to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.

Statutory assessment

Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.

Ongoing assessment for Rapid Catch-up in Years 2 to 6

 Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:

  • the Rapid Catch-up initial assessment to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan appropriate teaching
  • the Rapid Catch-up summative assessments to assess progress and inform teaching

 

The curriculum leader for phonics and early reading is: Mrs Sarah Glover.

Documents for Early Reading and Phonics

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