Subject Leader: Mrs Louise White
English Link Governor: Mrs Samantha Keay
Phonics (reading and spelling)
At The Arches, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a validated systematic synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Foundation Stage 2 and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression (attached below), which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. For more information and videos, please follow this link to the parents page on the Little Wandle website.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At The Arches, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
At The Arches, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
Daily phonics lessons in Foundation Stage 2 and Year 1
-We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
-Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 3 of the Autumn term.
-We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
-Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
-Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Across the school, classes also have shared reading lessons where staff share high quality texts which may be at a level above which the child can independently read. In these sessions, we aim to instil a love of reading, teach comprehension and explore new vocabulary. All staff will use these sessions to foster a love of reading through their own enthusiasm and love of texts. These texts will be selected from the wider reading suggestions in the Read to Write units.
Reading plus is used in UKS2 to further develop reading speed and comprehension.
Supporting your child with reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
There are two types of reading book that your child will bring home in FS2 and KS1: Reading practice book and Sharing book
Reading practice book
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, ask them to decode (sound it out) and blend it. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
In order to encourage your child to become a passionate lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. In addition, after reading the book you can pick out some words and help them to expand their vocabulary by discussing alternatives for these words. The main thing is though that you have fun!
For more information and videos on how to say the phonemes, please click here to follow the link to visit the parents section of The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. On this sight you can watch videos of how the phonemes are pronounced, learn more about how we teach reading and get more information about the books your child will be bringing home.
Additonally there are useful documents and the programme of study attached below.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
- Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
- Summative assessment is used:
- every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.