In EYFS and KS1, daily phonics lessons take place to support the development of children’s decoding skills. The Song of Sounds scheme is used to provide an enjoyable and well-structured phonics scheme. We believe that regular, high-quality phonics sessions are fundamental to successful reading. Any children who fall behind with their phonics are quickly identified and interventions are put in place to support their progress. This may focus on identifying the sounds made by certain graphemes or on blending sounds. Phonics Tracker is used to keep an accurate and up-to-date record of what children need to develop.
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In addition to daily phonics lessons, children in KS1 also participate in three fluency lessons each week. These are whole class sessions which focus on speed, accuracy and prosody. A ‘my turn, your turn’ approach allows the teacher to model reading with good fluency and the children aim to replicate this. A number of questions may be asked throughout to check for understanding of the text that has been read.
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Phonics Play is used to compliment the daily phonics sessions in both EYFS and KS1 and this can be accessed at home.
Throughout their time in KS1 children may also access Reading Recovery. Reading Recovery is a school-based literacy programme designed for the lowest achieving children aged five or six, which enables them to reach age-expected levels within 12-20 weeks. It involves a short series of daily one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes with a specially trained teacher. Reading Recovery is different for every child starting from what the child knows and what the child needs to learn next.
In KS2, children access two fluency sessions each week. One of these fluency sessions is centred around a poem taken from the Pie Corbett poetry spines. Children are taught using a ‘my turn, your turn’ approach and focus on the three key aspects of fluency: speed, accuracy and prosody. Teachers model fluent reading and children are expected to chorally re-read previously modelled parts of the chosen text or poem. We recognise that fluency is the bridge between decoding and comprehension and therefore place a high emphasis on ensuring that children can read fluently.
A further 2 lessons of reading are taught in KS2 and based on the whole class novel. These sessions include a retrieval practice quiz to ensure that all children have understood key aspects of the text, a vocabulary check which identifies difficult vocabulary prior to reading, and a range of VIPERS questions to check for understanding. Teachers also model the skills of good readers when reading aloud to the class.
There are several interventions that we use to support any children who may struggle with their reading. These interventions depend on the aspect of reading that a child may be finding difficult. If this is decoding words, an appropriate phonics intervention will take place. If fluency is an issue, a teaching assistant will spend time modelling fluent reading of a short passage of a text or poem, followed by the child re-reading the text up to three times. The aim of this is to improve the fluency of the read each time with the teaching assistant remodelling where necessary. If a child is finding it difficult to make meaning from a text, despite good decoding and fluent reading, they will take part in the ‘Boosting reading at primary’ intervention. This intensive, one-to-one intervention aims to boost comprehension over the course of ten weeks.
All staff model and teach the skills that good readers use to understand what they are reading. Texts are chosen carefully to support learning and generally link to the curriculum or are chosen to support another aspect of learning.
We are lucky to have a lovely school library. This is timetabled throughout the week so that classes can have time to choose additional books to read at home. Children can choose from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books and these compliment the school reading scheme and the class libraries.