Reading and Phonics
At St Louis School we place a very high importance on learning to read and we are proud of the attainment and progress in reading and phonics throughout the school. We believe that by ensuring children achieve a positive start to their reading journey through the development of their phonics skills, they will have strong foundations upon which to base their reading journey.
Children have access to reading areas in their classrooms and Key Stage shared areas, as well as to a well-stocked library. Teachers read regularly to the children and comprehension skills are taught throughout the school. We have a wide range of books available to the children, including books from a diverse range of authors and with main characters from a range of heritages. We are fortunate to have a PTA who regularly donate money to the school so we can refresh and update our titles often. Our aim is to enable our children to develop their reading skills and instil in them a love of books, so that they become lifelong readers.
Phonics is taught daily across Reception and KS1, it is the first lesson of the day. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme to ensure that the phonics we teach is engaging and progressive.
All children are taught as a class to ensure everyone covers all the phonics they should know by the end of Year 1. For those children who need a little more support to make sure their learning is secure, there are regular catch up groups.
Progress in phonics is tracked throughout each term. The information is used to identify the correct reading book level for each child and to decide who would benefit from catch up group work.
The importance of being able to read cannot be underestimated as it allows access to all other areas of the curriculum. Our aim is for all children to be successful and to ensure no-one is left behind.
Should any child not reach the expected standard in the Phonics Screening check at the end of Year 1 they will continue to receive catch up sessions and extra reading opportunities in Year 2.
For more information about Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised and how you can support your child at home, please follow the link: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Reading Sessions in Reception and KS1
Early Reading in Key Stage One
In Reception and Year 1, reading books are matched to the phonics sounds that the children have been taught and know which enables them to apply their skills and develop their fluency. They read in the same book in school three times a week with an adult to ensure fluency, expression and understanding. By the time the children bring the book home to read they should only need to segment and blend around 5% of words and they should be able to do this independently.
Alongside their phonic based reading book children also choose a ‘sharing’ book from the library. This is a book that they have chosen and is for you to read to them and share story time together. Reading for pleasure and enjoying special ‘book time’ helps children to develop reading skills for life.
As children progress through the phonics programme and reach a standard, as set out in the phonic screening check at the end of Year 1, they move from phonic based reading books to those organised by book band colour. These allow children to develop their sight vocabulary, fluency, accuracy and their comprehension skills.
Reading and comprehension skills are taught explicitly in Year 2 through English lessons. Smaller group guided reading sessions take place using books aimed at addressing the needs of the children. Assessment takes place each term against milestones including the framework for the national reading standards at the end of Year 2.
Spelling and grammar are taught explicitly in English lessons, but are also covered in reading. Children are taught what punctuation marks mean and how to respond to them when reading a text.
Reading in Key Stage Two
We use a whole class approach to the teaching of reading in Key Stage 2. We believe that all pupils should have access to high quality texts which will help them to develop their vocabularies, deepen their comprehension and instil a love of reading.
Each day begins with a taught reading session in which the teacher will read a section of a text to the class who follow along in their individual copy. Sometimes pupils will read sections too. Questions are asked and vocabulary discussed as the reading takes place. Each session ends with an activity for the pupils to complete based on what they have heard. This may include completing a quick recall quiz, answering more thought provoking inference questions, vocabulary work, or work linked to the context, author or background of the book.
Pupils also have access to the Key Stage 2 reading area where books are arranged by colour bands. They select an individual reading book from the appropriate book band and can change it as often as necessary.
Reading is assessed regularly using our assessment milestones as well as the national reading standards at the end of Year Six.
For children who may need extra support we also provide a range of reading interventions lead by our intervention teacher and teaching assistants, including the use of Lexia, a computer based literacy programme.
How can you help?
- Try to make time to listen to your child read every day. Remember, you don’t have to read the whole book each time
- Encourage them to use their phonic skills or remember a key word by sight, but tell them what a word says if they are struggling
- Talk to your child about their book
- Ask questions so that your child has to think about what they are reading
- Let your child see how important reading is by reading yourself, whether it is books, magazines or newspapers
- Read to your child, whether it is a bedtime story or a funny/ interesting article in a magazine or newspaper