At Shawley, we acknowledge that inspiring a love of reading in our pupils is vitally important, so they fall in love with reading for life and are exposed to vocabulary and diverse experiences they might otherwise never come across.
We value reading as a vital life skill and the gateway to accessing the full curriculum. As soon as our children join us in Reception we begin teaching the tools needed to become fluent readers and these skills are transferred to all aspects of life and learning. Children read regularly at school and this helps to promote their decoding, prosody and comprehension skills.
By the time children leave Shawley they should be confident selecting and reading a wide range of material and enjoy regularly reading for pleasure.
In Reception and KS1, we currently follow the ‘Little Wandle letters and sounds revised (LWLS)’ scheme. LWLS states that to be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words.
In KS2, children take part in whole class reading lessons, where pupils participate in discussions around the text using an extract based approach. We explore the different reading content domains to develop reading comprehension skills.
We believe that all children, no matter what age, should develop a love for reading which will inspire them to read for purpose and pleasure. This is supported by our school environment which excites and enthuses children to read throughout the day.
Our approach to teaching Early Reading
Phonics is taught using the structure of our systematic synthetic programme ‘Little Wandle Letters & Sounds’. This comprehensive programme provides a multisensory approach, using letter frames, flash cards, phonic games and listening activities.
Using the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds lesson structure, each session will follow the same format of introduce, revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. This ensures that children learn new sounds whilst applying taught sounds to their reading of new words. Children work on decoding, segmenting and blending in every lesson. Children are exposed and use the correct subject specific technical vocabulary (such as phoneme, digraph, trigraph). Our lessons are designed to meet the children’s needs based on our on-going phonic assessments. This informs planning and streaming within year groups.
During daily direct teaching sessions, the teacher will provide a clear model and pronunciation of sounds, observing and assessing children to ensure those who have a secure understanding are able to move on as well as be aware of those children who need to revisit certain sounds. They will also be addressing misconceptions during the lesson. Children will be active participants in every lesson.
Phonics resources are consistent throughout the school, allowing children to apply their phonic knowledge in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics and word mats support spelling and writing across the curriculum and having access to Phonics displays enables children to apply taught knowledge and skills to decode unfamiliar words in the classroom.
Reading scheme books provide decodable reading material to ensure that, as children move through the early stages of acquiring phonic knowledge and skills, they can practice by reading texts closely matched to their level of phonic attainment. Texts from a range of genres and publishers are matched by phonics phases and colour reading band to ensure children are reading at 90% fluency. Once children progress on from these they will select from the schools colour banded system before moving on to become a free reader.
Additional support and interventions are provided by highly trained teachers and teaching assistants across EYFS & KS1 as well as for those children in KS2 who do not pass the phonics screening and require extra support. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds ‘Keep up’ programme is used across the school providing a high quality and progressive teaching programme.
Overview to see the progression of GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence) and tricky words taught each term
Use these documents to ensure correct pronunciation and letter formation when you are reading with your child.
Use these grapheme mats to apply taught phonic knowledge and support spelling when writing at home. Your child will be familiar with this resource as it is used in the classroom.
Key Stage Two
In Key Stage Two children cover the different content domains in a whole class reading approach. There are 3 lessons a week where children focus on a specific skill e.g. inference, prediction, explaining the meaning of words in context, summarising and retrieval. We use an extract based approach that includes a variety of extracts from non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Children take part in rich text based discussions and answer reading comprehensions using a gradual release model, ‘I do, we do, you do’.
Children are able to take home a reading book to read to their parent/carer and this is recorded and checked regularly. Parents are expected to make a comment in their child’s reading record on how their child has read. In KS2 children are invited to make comments on any independent reading they have completed. It is the expectation in our hub that children read at least 4 times a week.
Across the school, a range of high-quality texts are available as printed books through the class book shelves, school library and as ebooks, providing a familiarity with choosing both fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. Texts reflect the interests of the children and our school community, providing diverse and culturally rich texts.
A whole-class reading approach has been adopted so that all children are immersed in high-quality literature, discussions and reasoning to develop fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, as well as listening to high-quality modelled reading. A range of question types in the style of VIPERS, using Answer, Prove it, Explain it (APE) or Point, Evidence, Explanation (PEE) are used to support this.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two, as well as this, termly assessments are carried out in each year group. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.
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. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.
World Book Day
Every year in March we celebrate World Book Day. The day is focused on a range of learning experiences and activities that are designed to celebrate reading and further promote reading for enjoyment. A highlight of the day is the whole school assembly when each class gets a chance to parade around the hall for the rest of the school to see their book day costumes and work out the books that the characters come from!
Every year workshops are held for Reception parents early in the Autumn term so that they can become familiar with our approach to teaching phonics and reading and how parents can support this at home.
In addition to these annual workshops, we also offer a range of curriculum evenings to parents of children in all year groups. These seek to further inform parents about their children's learning. Previously we have hosted writing, phonics, spelling and reading meetings for all parents.
We hold Book Fairs each term. We encourage parent volunteers to come into school to hear children read as much as possible.