- Pupils are taught a range of strategies in order to help them read, including phonics. Through short, sharp sessions the pupils have great fun learning effective strategies to help them read and spell words. Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils are taught a 20 minute phonics lesson each day using the six phase ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme (DCSF, 2007).
In each lesson pupils:
- Review their previous learning
- Are taught a new phonics skill
- Practise their new skill
- Apply this skill in reading and writing
Tracking and monitoring ensure pupils are taught in appropriate ‘phase’ groups in order to meet their individual needs. At the end of Year 1, pupils take part in a national phonics screening check; the results of which are shared with parents. Any pupils who do not reach the expected level by the end of Year 1 receive targeted support and are reassessed formally at the end of Year 2.
Many opportunities are provided for pupils to practise and extend their reading across a variety of subjects. Reading for pleasure and enjoyment is given a high priority; classrooms are well resourced with quality texts. The school library is at the heart of the school and is used by pupils, staff and parents to support learning and promote the joy of reading.
Reading is taught in a variety of ways including:
An interactive reading experience that occurs when pupils join in with or share in the reading of a book of text whilst guided and supported by a teacher. The shared reading model often uses oversized books (big books) with enlarged print and illustrations. The teacher models the skills of a proficient reader, including reading with fluency and expression.
Guided reading is a teacher led session in which a small group of pupils learn and apply reading skills. Each child has their own copy of the text, which is carefully chosen to match the reading ability of the group and challenge individuals appropriately. Within the small group, pupils have the opportunity to question, partake in discussion and develop reading comprehension skills. At Key Stages 1 and 2, pupils read with their class teacher once a week as part of a guided reading group.
There is a core scheme for individual reading to support the development of pupils’ reading skills. Pupils start the reading scheme in Reception and continue through the graded scheme until they become competent, independent readers. Pupils then choose from a wide variety of ‘Free Reader’ books from their classroom (Years 1-4) or the school library (Years 5&6).
From Reception to Year 4, pupils read individually to an adult at least once a week. Parents support their child with learning to read, by listening to their child read the books that are taken home from school each day. Home and school communicate about children’s reading through the use of a reading record.