Mastery in phonics is fundamental to children being able to access a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts, across the curriculum. Phonics is taught daily, with a drive to address the needs of all learners. During the academic year, parents are invited to workshops and practical sessions to demonstrate letter to sound correspondence and promote consistent use of the school’s scheme – ‘Letters and sounds’. Those children struggling in phonics are not left behind because the school employs a range of strategies to close the gap, including precision teaching, direct phonics and follow-up sessions.
Children are expected to read at home and the school reading scheme is carefully matched, in the first instance, to children’s phonic phases. As children become more fluent, we help them make book choices, related to their interest and ensure that questioning is carefully scaffolded. For EYFS and KS1, phonic support packs are sent home regularly to consolidate in-class learning and to inform the parents of gaps identified from recent assessments.
Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Test continue to have intervention to support the acquisition of these key skills.
Individual reading takes place for all children in EYFS and KS1 regularly and guided reading groups are used alongside whole class reading to model and assess skills and ability. In order to develop reading for meaning, we teach all the reading strands from the National Curriculum as follows:
- Retrieving/recording/identifying information
- Summarising and predicting
- Meaning and its enhancements
- Comparisons within and across texts
In years 2 to 6, children take part in daily whole class reading sessions. The first and last session of the week uses the class text and focuses on prediction, summary and retrieval skills. The first session of the week features a class quiz and ends with a philosophy for children question. These sessions allow children to gain a clear understanding of the reading process and interpret meaning in a scaffolded, supported and independent way. Teachers are able to hear individual children read aloud during these sessions and within cross-curricular subjects. Whole class reading incorporates poetry, drama, music, fiction, non-fiction and debating opportunities in order to engage children and develop empathy. During the sessions, support is offered to the less confident readers and challenge given to those who are greater depth. Wherever possible, children’s vocabulary is acquired and enhanced as part of shared, guided and individual reading.
All children in all classes have 15 minutes have a daily reading for pleasure session where the Teacher reads aloud to the class without interruption for the simple pleasure- to enjoy reading.
The reading environment in each class and school library engages and promotes a range of books with a strong emphasis on parental partnerships and volunteers.
Any feedback and marking is given within the session where possible and teachers use AFL to identify those children who need help with particular skills, ensuring they are scaffolded/supported as appropriate. Assessments and tracking is carried out using Reading Pro and PIXL tests and ongoing formative assessment sheets. These help to plan targeted intervention and close gaps as quickly as possible.