How we teach reading and phonics at Green Meadow Primary School
Reading (word reading and comprehension) is taught through a mainly group or guided approach, using a variety of texts and informed by the national curriculum requirements. Children are placed into reading groups according to the reading skills they need to develop. These groups are regularly reviewed by class teachers. All books in school are ‘book- banded’ and children are able to independently select books matched to their reading level. Focused reading targets are printed on to stickers, which are stuck into reading records by class teachers. These are brought home by the children in their book bags so they can share them with parents and carers. In class structured schemes are used and a wide range of free choice books are used to teach reading. High quality reading resources are used to encourage a love of reading. During regular E.R.I.C. (Everyone Reading In Class) time the children enjoy browsing through a variety of genre including fiction, poetry, catalogues, comics, environmental print and on-screen text. Children read widely during daily English lessons and share class novels to encourage reading for pleasure.
In Foundation Stage, we teach discrete phonics sessions daily, based on the Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught listening skills, initial letter sounds, oral segmenting and blending. Through stories and poems, they develop an understanding of rhyme and rhythm.
The children build on these skills and are taught to recognise letter sounds and names. They are taught how to segment words into their individual sounds and blend them together to read whole words. Children are given daily opportunities to apply these phonic skills to their reading and writing. They are also taught to recognise, read and spell high frequency and tricky words. We encourage children to learn to differentiate between words they can sound out using phonic skills and words that rely on their visual memory.
In Key Stage One, children have a systematic, discrete phonics lesson each day, following Letters and Sounds and using Phonics’ Play, Jolly Phonics and Read Write Inc. as supplementary programmes. Children are given daily opportunities to practice and apply their skills and are expected to use their phonic knowledge in their reading and writing across the curriculum. Weekly sound patterns are the basis for spelling activities each week. This is informed by the statutory requirements of the national curriculum. Children’s knowledge of phonics is checked through ongoing assessments during lessons, through analysis of their writing and through regular tests.
This spelling programme continues throughout Key Stage 2; children move onto No Nonsense Spelling as they reach the required level. At all stages of development, children are encouraged to apply their new skills in a wide range of writing.
In Foundation Stage, reading skills are taught using a wide range of reading materials. Our children learn how to handle books. They learn that all print carries meaning and they begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through daily sharing and discussing stories with adults. We develop their enjoyment of books and aim to ignite a love of reading. They are given opportunities to respond to their reading creatively, for example by- ‘playing’ out the stories they enjoy through role-play, story sacks and small world in the continuous provision.
Children are introduced to the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which continues throughout Key Stage One. Other reading schemes including Rigby Star, Project X, Read Write Inc. and Phonics Bug provide them with a wide variety of reading materials. Children further develop their enjoyment of reading through their use of the reading area within each classroom as well as through discussing and sharing books, guided reading sessions and daily story times.
In Key Stage One, children continue to develop a range of reading skills through shared, guided and individual reading. Carefully planned guided and group reading sessions, develop children’s ability to discuss and understand the texts they read. Children have a personal reading record which we encourage parents to write comments in. Daily reading is rewarded in a range of ways including stickers and certificates. Comprehension skills are taught explicitly during reading and English sessions and consolidated through carefully planned learning opportunities across the curriculum. Children talk about their reading with teachers and adults and undertake high quality discussions around books.
In Key Stage Two, children continue to develop their reading and comprehension skills through guided and group reading, studying a class text, the daily English lesson and opportunities for independent reading. All children have a reading record book and have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles to suit their individual reading level. To further promote reading for pleasure, each classroom has its own reading area, with a wide range of books including stories, non-fiction and topic related books, where children are encouraged to develop their own reading interests and preferences. At Green Meadow we enrich the reading curriculum through world book day events, library visits, theatre trips, book fairs and visiting authors. Reading widely for pleasure and information is promoted through the English and wider curriculum. Library loan boxes in each class provide stimulating reading materials to support learning.
We welcome parent readers to school. Years R to 5 read every day from 9- 9.30am and parents support groups within each class. Full training is given by the English co-ordinators, please contact Mrs Mills, Mrs Bestwick or Mrs Doherty through the school office for more information.
All children are assessed against the national curriculum programmes of study for each year group. We also assess children’s reading age, both fluency, accuracy and comprehension using the Salford Sentence Reading programme and the Diagnostic Reading Analysis Tool.
Where necessary, children are supported to reach end of year expectations through a variety of well-planned targeted interventions including BRP (Better Reading Partners- under the umbrella of Reading Recovery), one- to one reading, pocket folders and precision teaching. We monitor this through IEPs (Individual Education Plans), class tracking and our school provision map. Please contact Mrs Cross (SENCO) for more information about interventions.