Phonics and Reading
What will children learn?
At Radwinter CofE Primary School we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Radwinter CofE Primary School we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects
How will children be taught?
Teaching phonics and reading In EYFS and KS1
- Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions two times a week
Home reading and the role of parents
A decodable reading book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. We provide a guide to help parents understand how they can support their child and have reading guides for most of the Little Wandle Big Cat Letters and Sounds books as well as matching word cards. For our other reading scheme books, our guide provides top tips to help parents support their child’s reading.
Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through parent workshops.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading book to an adult daily. Children beyond Year 2 will read regularly with an adult as outlined in the provision map provided by their class teacher.
The Reading Leader and SENDCO both support the teacher with additional resources or helping staff to identify specific needs. If a child is still struggling by Year 3 and is not new to the school, they may need specialist support including Toe-by-Toe, Nessy support. We also cater for the needs of older children continuing to access phonetically decodable books by providing more mature phonetically decodable books where the colour and phase labelling is discreet. We want children to feel successful and confident in their skills, whatever they may be.
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 so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
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.
In KS1 and KS2 we use Reading Vipers to help children develop the skills in the reading domains outlines as part of the National Curriculum reading curriculum. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains and stands for:
Sequence or Summarise
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
At the end of the Foundation Stage the pupils will have experienced shared, group and independent reading and learned the routines and responsibilities which enable the class to operate efficiently and effectively. Building on what pupils already know about reading and stories, the teacher helps develop early reading behaviours through group or shared reading activities, e.g. holding a book the right way up and following the text from left to right, knowing that print carries meaning, identifying the protagonists in a story, recognising signs and symbols in environmental print. The pupils develop curiosity and enthusiasm about print. They are able to select, read and talk about a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. They have many stories told and read to them and these stores are diverse and rich in vocabulary. They have opportunities to retell narratives themselves and learn poems through our Poetry Basket sessions. The focus, particularly at the early stage, is on developing understanding and conveying meaning of the texts they read rather than on reading words accurately. Books are placed in all areas of the classroom to engage and support the curriculum.
Key Stage One At Key Stage 1 the emphasis is on developing pupils’ interest and pleasure as they learn to read independently and with confidence. They focus on words and sentences and how they are put together to form texts. They bring meaning to the texts they read and say what they like or dislike about them. Enlarged texts, selected from the appropriate range of texts – fiction and non-fiction - are used for shared reading at Key Stage One. Teachers model a range of reading strategies, including the identification of sentence structure and the function of punctuation marks, and give pupils opportunities to practise phonic skills and word recognition in context.
Key Stage Two At Key Stage Two pupils meet a wider range of texts in fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Teaching focuses on developing pupils’ reading skills, e.g. generalising and making inferences by drawing on evidence from the text. There continues to be a high level of interaction between teacher and pupils with teachers inviting pupils’ individual responses and interpretations rather than narrowly focused comprehension. The texts chosen offer challenge to all pupils in the class.
The texts chosen are of a high quality and children can follow as the text is read to them through having a book individually or with a partner. Throughout the reading part of the literacy journey, the children undertake tasks to deepen their understanding of the text. Sometimes these work best before the reading of the text (e.g. raising prior knowledge, making predictions on the basis of title and illustration, whetting the reader’s appetite), sometimes during (e.g. giving advice to a character at a point of crisis or decision, noting personal response in an on-going reading journal), sometimes after (providing opportunities for reflection on the whole text, mapping a character’s literal or emotional journey). The intention is to illuminate text and keep the pupils focused on their personal response and critical interpretation.
Reading across the Curriculum
The contribution of reading to other aspects of the curriculum Reading is not restricted to the Literacy session. Many opportunities are provided for pupils to practise and extend their reading in other subjects. The children often complete a ‘Reading in the Foundation’ activity and reading for pleasure and enjoyment is given a high priority. Monitoring ensures that there is sufficient breadth and challenge in the range of reading that pupils undertake. Other areas of the curriculum offer many opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills, particularly reading for information
Ensuring reading for pleasure
‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
We highly 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 these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Radwinter CofE Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures and demonstrate diversity and a range of interests.
Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
Children in Reception from Autumn 2 and in Year 1 and Year 2 from Autumn 2, children have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments. We use Tapestry and children in KS2 can use it to keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
The school library is being reorganised and a we have undertaking a ‘Buy-A’Book’ drive to help books our stock of books. The library will be made available for classes to use at protected times.. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc), Covid restrictions allowing.
What will the outcomes for children be?
We believe that reading is key to all learning and the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Along their reading journey at Radwinter, children are given the opportunity to explore a wide range of genres and develop a deep love of reading.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics in KS1 and high quality teaching in KS2 our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the curriculum.
As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.
In addition to this:
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home.
- The % of pupils working at age related expectations and above age related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children.
- There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils.
Resources for Parents
(please see the Reading and Phonics at Radwinter on the Parents tab for more help and information).
If you would like further information on the curriculum we teach, please contact the school directly.