Reading and Phonics at Wynndale Primary School
Reading is one of the most important things that children will learn at school. Our aim is for every child to be able to Learn to Read as well as being able to Read to Learn. This means they will be confident and fluent readers who have learnt to read by the end of KS1 and be starting to read to learn by gaining knowledge in other subjects through reading.
The Teaching of Phonics
At Wynndale, we start to teach reading through a Phonics programme called ‘Storytime Phonics.’ In Foundation Stage and Y1, the children have daily phonics lessons where they learn to read by segmenting the sounds and then blending them together, as well as learning the tricky words. Phonics interventions take place for children in other year groups who still need to practise their phonics skills. All children who are learning the phonetic code, practise their new reading skills by taking home phonetically decodable books closely linked to their increasing Phonic knowledge. We use a range of books from the following schemes: Collins Big Cat Phonics, Rising Stars, Project X and Phonics Bug Club. The children also take home a sharing book, which is read to them by an adult at home, to access challenging vocabulary and to work on their comprehension and understanding of a text.
The Teaching of Reading
Children in Foundation and Y1 will read with their class teacher,1:1, in small groups and as a class, where they will learn further reading skills and how to find meaning from a text. Children will be heard read by a trained member of staff at least once a week and their phonically decodable book will be changed by the adult twice a week. Communications after reading will be put in reading diaries so parents and family members are aware of the child’s individual next steps. Children may be heard read additionally by Key Stage 2 readers or community volunteers, both of which have received training from the Subject Leaders.
On entry to Year 2 children continue to be heard read on a 1:1 basis or in a small group. As they progress with their reading skills the small group will take the form of guided reading. The children will read the same text and look at both the teaching of reading skills and early comprehension strategies. Towards the end of the Autumn Term the more able readers will progress to a novel study approach.
In Year 2 from Spring Term through to Year 6, children have Novel Study lessons 4 to 5 times a week. These focus primarily on the understanding of a text. Children are taught how to make predictions, clarify words, answer retrieval and inference questions, and summarise what they have been reading. We use reading VIPERS (vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve, sequence or summarise) to support this teaching and ensure a consistent approach across school. We explore the author’s use of vocabulary and its impact on the reader. The teaching of vocabulary is high profile within novel study and forms a part of every lesson. High quality texts have been selected for the teaching of Novel Study and teachers will refer to earlier texts to allow children to make links.
Within these year groups, adults will read 1:1 with any children where it is necessary to increase fluency as well as to diagnose and target individual reading difficulties.
Children in Year 2 – 4 will also have a reading diary as a form of communication between families and staff members to support the teaching of reading.
A Love of Reading
One of our other aims is for all children to have a love of reading and to want to read for themselves, so at Wynndale Primary School we encourage reading for pleasure.
We have made a commitment every day that children will come together as a class and share a book through reading aloud. This is fondly known as STAR reading time (sit together and read). To differentiate this from novel study, teachers will aim to create a special environment within the classroom which may include lighting, music, blankets and cushions.
To ensure that the children leave us having experienced a wide range of quality texts we have created our own bespoke reading spine for each year group. This will include texts which should be included within STAR reading time at some point within the year.
Children at Wynndale will also have the opportunity to read aloud themselves in shared reading time. Once a month, two different year groups will meet together, children will be paired to read aloud to each other, using the behaviours which they have seen modelled to them in STAR reading time.
Every classroom has a reading area with a range of children’s books for them to read at their leisure. We aim to make reading areas exciting and memorable places to go and read.
At Wynndale we endeavour to create a culture of being a reading community. We encourage all adults in school to be viewed as readers, for example, every adult displays the title of the book they are personally reading for pleasure, whole school displays, bookfairs and our book exchange. We celebrate reading through participating in National events and regular initiatives such as Book Lovers tea parties and Reading Bears. We aim to widen our reading community beyond our school grounds through our hidden book scheme.
Through this, by the time our children leave us, they will have experienced a wide range of quality texts. We are able to ensure this happens through our bespoke reading spines for each year group which plans out some of the books that are included in our STAR reading time, writing sequence, novel study and reading for pleasure texts. All of these are updated frequently to meet the needs of the children and published on our website.