Phonics and Reading
Learning to read is one of the most important things that your child will do at our school. So much learning depends on reading and we prioritise giving your child the tools they need to be an effective reader as quickly as possible. Our aim is for all children to be competent, fluent readers who are able to access a wide range of reading materials, share ideas about what they have read and discuss vocabulary that the author has used. Reading is one of the strongest predictors of academic success and beyond. To reflect this, reading weaves through our curriculum, giving children many opportunities to develop reading in a purposeful and engaging way.
We aim to foster a real love of reading and to establish children as lifelong readers. We introduce children to a broad range of engaging books which will spark their imaginations and challenge their thinking. We set a high profile for reading in our school and everyone across the school community helps promote its importance.
Implementation- Early Reading
Phonics underpins all early reading and writing and is an incredibly important element of children’s learning. At Bisley our children follow a phonics program called Read Write Inc. It goes beyond introducing the different sounds (phonemes), and encourages children to use their phonics to help them with their early reading and writing.
Preparatory work begins in Nursery and all children will start Read Write Inc. by the first half term of Reception. Our phonics progression grid (on right, under key documents) shows how phonics teaching is structured term by term across Early Years and Key Stage One. This gives a general guide; practitioners will constantly assess children’s needs and adapt their provision accordingly.
Implementation – Whole School
All children from Nursery to Year 6 take part in whole class or group reading sessions, where children are exposed to different text types and varied vocabulary. During these sessions, children demonstrate their understanding and their opinions of the text. Staff select these texts carefully in order to provide challenge and to broaden their reading repertoire.
- In Reception, children read with an adult on a one-to-one basis every week.
- In Key Stage One, each child is part of a Guided Reading Group of 4-6 children. The carousel of activities involves independent reading activities or reading with an adult
- In Y1 children have a daily focus group session with the class teacher to follow up their phonics learning
- In Key Stage Two, children engage with Whole Class Guided Reading three times per week. Children who are still on the reading scheme will read regularly to an adult.
Children in Reception to Year 6 will participate in ERIC (Everybody Reading in Class) for at least 10 minutes daily. This ensures that all children are reading for a minimum on 5 out of 7 days per week, and helps to foster a real love of reading.
Children are exposed to a variety of authors, genres and texts for a range of purposes. To encourage children to engage with reading both at school and at home, the children can choose their own reading books from their class library or the school’s central library. Year 6 Librarians host lunchtime library club three times per week, where children receive help with selecting, borrowing and returning books. This is also a quiet place for children to read at lunchtime if they want to.
Vocabulary is such an important part of reading and our aim is to widen the vocabulary of all of our pupils from Nursery to Year 6. “Word of the Week” (WoW) encourages children to use new and advanced vocabulary in their speaking and writing. Children who use the WoW in context are awarded with a privilege.
Children still on the reading scheme are assessed using RWI phonics assessment until they are to progress onto the Purple Band, at which point they are PM Benchmarked. Phonic assessments of reading ensures that we phonic match our children’s books to their current phonetic ability. ‘PM benchmarking’ each half-term for children on Purple level and above enables teachers to assess their reading fluency and comprehension. Additionally, reading fluency and comprehension is assessed throughout the year with the PIRA assessment scheme and previous past SATs papers in Year 2 and 6. Regular phonics assessments ensure that children are retaining the sounds that they have been taught, and that any gaps in learning can be addressed.
Children who have additional needs with reading will receive extra support from the class teacher (through ‘Wave One’ provision and adaptations) and through interventions and resources (e.g. Read Write Inc. intervention or ‘5 Minute Box’).
We raise the profile of reading across the school community and to parents and carers by offering reading workshops throughout the year (subject to COVID restrictions). Reception parents are invited to an Early Reading Workshop and all parents are invited to Sharing Books and a Love of Reading Workshops. We also signpost parents to our Learning Channel on YouTube, which has a multitude of videos recorded by our teachers, including phonics, story books and key word practice.
We take part in World Book Day, ‘Pyjamarama’ and challenges like the 'Extreme Reading Challenge'.
The teaching of systematic phonics in Reception and Key Stage One ensures that most children can read fluently by the end of Year 2. Those children who are yet to achieve fluency will continue to use phonics in a small intervention group as appropriate. The focus in Key Stage Two is then on comprehension, author intent and reading more widely.
During their time at school, children will have the opportunity to be transported to magical worlds through their reading. We devote time in every school day to promote reading for pleasure. The Pupil Parliament children from each year group were quizzed on their thoughts about reading. Here are some of the comments:
- “We loved our teacher reading “The Boy Who Grew Dragons” to us.” (Year 2)
- “We love being read to. We learn new words.” (Year 2)
- “I really enjoy guided reading in class.” (Year 6)
- “I like reading in class because we get to take our shoes off and get comfy on the beanbags and cushions” (Year 6).
- “I like it when my teacher reads to us because it helps us to understand the book more.” (Year 6)
- “We do ERIC in class each day (after break). Everyone is quiet & respectful when we are reading in class. My teacher often reads her book too.” (Year 6)
- “I would like to be a Reading Buddy for younger children.” (Year 4)
- “I enjoy reading more now as I’m less nervous and I have improved.” (Year 3)
Children are using new and more sophisticated vocabulary in their conversations and their writing.
Children are reading a wider range of texts (including non-fiction, magazines and children’s newspapers) in order to expand their understanding, vocabulary and knowledge.
Click here for videos of our Reception Staff teaching individual sounds
Our Phonics and Reading Team.
Assistant Headteacher Teaching & Learning Nursery - Year 1
Early Reading Specialist
Year 2 teacher
Year 6 Teacher
Our Bisley Reading Fox
Reggie the Reading Reynard
Our Bisley Vocabulary Fox
Violet the Vocabulary Vixen