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Phonics and Developing Reading

As if Feb 2022

INTENT

At St. Mary's C of E Primary Academy we want all our children in Reading to:

  • Learn as much as possible, From starting school in reception we want our children to become fluent readers and writers. Through effective teaching we want our children to be able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read.  By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. 
  • We want all our students to develop into well-read confident speakers and by the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Ignite Curiosity -  We want our children to be curious about books and literature who see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

IMPLEMENTATION

At St Mary's C of E Primary Academy we are introducing the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme

Foundations for phonics in Reception - We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

  • Sharing high-quality stories and poems
  • Learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
  • Activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
  • Attention to high-quality language.
  • We ensure Nursery children are well-prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

  • We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. 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:
  • Children in Receptin 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 Phase 3 and 4 and are taught t 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 timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace. 
  • If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week.

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week

  • We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:
    • Are taught by a fully trained adult t small groups of approximately six children
    • Use bocks matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Applicatin of phonics to reading’
    • Are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
  • Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. 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 Week 4. 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 Year 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.
  • We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resurces 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 workshops.

Ensuring reading for pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

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 these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at ST Mary's and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • 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 from Reception onwards 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 and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
  • Each class visits the local library every half-term.
  • The school is developing a library and each class will have a time slot each week.. 

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 t 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 Is used:
  • every six weeks t 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, t narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
  • The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised placement assessment is used:
  • with any child new t the school to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan 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 catch-up

Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:

  •  Their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment
  • The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds placement assessment
  • The appropriate half-termly assessments.
  • Year groups will have end of term/year tests 

Ultimately we want all children to be confident and capable readers and students across the school will be working in line with similar school nationally amd in time better.