Phonics and reading lessons in EYFS and Year 1
We use the phonics programme ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ at our school to teach early reading. ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ is taught through daily phonics lessons in EYFS and Year 1 where we teach sounds and children practise reading and spelling words containing these sounds. This is reinforced by every child taking part in three reading practice sessions each week using carefully selected decodable books containing sounds and words they can read. Children who have not met the required standard for phonics in Year 1 or 2 have daily phonics sessions working with a trained adult individually or in small group sessions. This continues into Key Stage 2 as necessary. More information about ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ can be found in the phonics section in the curriculum tab on our website. Here you can find resources and videos to support you to help your child with their phonics at home.
As well as a daily phonics session, children in Reception and Key Stage 1 also have two sessions of whole class guided reading using engaging and carefully chosen picture books. In these sessions, comprehension and vocabulary skills are developed through carefully planned questions that lead to rich class discussion about the books shared; the children will develop a variety of reading skills such as clarifying vocabulary, sequencing texts, retrieval and making inferences in these sessions. Every day the children in EYFS and Year 1 listen to and share a range of high quality books in their classrooms, helping them to develop a love of reading and listening to stories.
Reading at home in EYFS and Key Stage 1
Every child from Reception to the end of Year 2 will be given a carefully levelled reading book, matched to their phonic ability, to take home to read to their parent or carer. We expect that every child should read their levelled, decodable book to a parent at least 5 times a week. We encourage parents to record in their child’s reading diary when they have listened to their child read aloud. We rigorously monitor home reading in Key Stage 1 so that we can identify quickly where there is need and also support families. Levelled reading books are changed once a week and are familiar so that the children can really show off their reading skills at home. Additionally, every child in EYFS and Key Stage 1 takes a sharing book home to read. This can be changed every day and is a book that can be read to the children by the parent or carer and is a book the child has chosen themselves and not a levelled decodable book (e.g. picture books, information books and poetry books from the class book corner).
The teaching of reading in Key Stage 2
In KS2, all children take part in Whole Class Guided Reading lessons three times a week with a focus on developing fluency, widening vocabulary and developing comprehension skills. The children read high quality texts which have been specially chosen for their high interest level and the quality of the vocabulary and language the author uses. Additionally, where possible, these key texts link to the topics the children have studied in other areas of the curriculum, thus deepening their knowledge of the topics they study. Through Whole Class Guided Reading lessons, the children will be introduced to a range of text types including whole novels, non-fiction texts and poetry. During these lessons, the children are taught to use a variety of ‘reading skills’ (such as retrieval, inference and clarifying vocabulary) to support them to understand the texts and answer a range of comprehension questions as well as develop their reading fluency. Children have lots of opportunities for rich discussion in these lessons which in turn supports them to articulate their thoughts coherently and to compose written answers to more complex comprehension questions.
In Key Stage 2, selected children take part in 1:1 reading sessions or phonics catch up interventions with an adult, which are in addition to their guided reading lessons. These children are identified by their teachers and the Reading Leaders, through formative and summative assessment, as requiring extra reading help.
Independent Reading in Key Stage 2
The transition from novice reader to expert reader requires independent reading and we see this as a crucial element of the reading provision in our school. We expect every child in Key Stage 2 to complete 20 minutes or more of independent reading every day and we monitor this rigorously. To facilitate independent reading, we use a reading scheme called Accelerated Reader in our school which assesses a child’s reading level so that they can choose appropriately levelled books to read independently. In Key Stage 2, children select books at their level to read independently from our very well-stocked and up-to-date class and whole school library areas. After reading their selected book, children can take a short quiz to test their reading comprehension and this also allows teachers to monitor each child’s independent reading easily. This constant rigorous monitoring means that teachers can quickly put in support for those children that may need it. We expect children to read for 20 minutes a day or more and ensure that each day in school there is dedicated time for independent reading and for children to take AR quizzes. Teachers also give the children regular ‘reading targets’ in their reading diaries to support them with their independent reading at home. We encourage parents to make a note of their children’s reading at home in the reading diaries, but as the children get older and more independent they themselves can record their independent reading in their reading diaries.
Reading for Pleasure
Reading for Pleasure is something we take very seriously at Arbury Primary School; it is an essential element of the reading provision at Arbury Primary School. Research tells us that children who regularly read for pleasure enjoy a variety of advantages academically and also that reading for pleasure contributes to wellbeing. We believe that with support, encouragement and time, every child can develop a lifelong love of reading. At our school we share books with the children that have been chosen carefully because of their high interest and engagement level and the quality of the language and vocabulary within the selected texts. We promote reading for pleasure in our school in a variety of ways:
- Our book stock is up to date and reflects the needs of the children in our school
- Regular reading for pleasure events are held in our school in our school (at least half termly) such as World Book Day, DEAR day (Drop Everything and Read day), National Poetry Day and Book Swaps
- Each class have two elected ‘Reading Ambassadors’ who help to promote reading for pleasure in their classrooms and around the school
- Daily opportunities for independent reading and story time are timetabled for every classroom straight after lunch
- Our whole English curriculum (reading and writing) is based on high-quality children’s literature
- Accelerated Reader in Key Stage 2 helps to motivate the children to read and supports them to find books to enjoy at their reading level
- A half termly Reading for Pleasure newsletter is sent out to all parents and children, further highlighting our commitment to reading for pleasure
- Parent workshops are held to support parents to promote reading for pleasure at home and to ensure the importance of this is clear to all