Falla Park Community Primary School

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Reading and Phonics

At Falla Park, our reading curriculum teaches the National Curriculum aims for English (2014) to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

Reading underpins the children’s access to the curriculum, and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read, benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally too.  Children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words in order to be able to read.

Our reading Curriculum teaches and supports children to use phonics as the only approach to decoding.  To do this, we start teaching phonics from Nursery/Reception and follow a systematic and synthetic phonics programme (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Progression,) which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

Foundations for Phonics in Nursery

We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:

  • sharing high-quality stories and poems
  • learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
  • activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
  • attention to high-quality language

We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Key Stage 1

Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins immediately in the Autumn term.  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.

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
  • Children in Year 2 review Phase 5 with greater accuracy and fluency to become confident word readers who can read texts with automaticity and prosody

Daily Keep-Up Lessons

Any child who needs additional practice has daily keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult.  Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check.  These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen.  We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these.

Children in Years 4 to 6 who have yet to complete the Little Wandle Phonics Programme or have gaps in their phonics learning, continue to be taught phonics daily. These children also receive additional keep up sessions.

Reading Practice

Children need regular opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned by reading fully decodable books. The phonic progression in these books is matched to the progression of ‘Little Wandle’ using the ‘Collins Big Cat’ books.

The children in Reception and Key Stage 1 read three times a week.  The children are taught with books that match their secure phonic knowledge.  All reading practice books have been carefully organised to match each phase and set of the Little Wandle programme to ensure progression.

Focus and Structure of Sessions

Children read the same book aloud in each of the three sessions with growing automaticity and accuracy. The pre-read and independent reading parts of the sessions are essential in providing the repeated practice needed for children to build fluency.

Each session in the ‘three read’ model has a clear focus:

  • Read 1: decoding
  • Read 2: prosody – readin with meaning, stress and intonation
  • Read 3: comprehension- understanding the text

Each of these sessions follows the same structure:

  • Pre-read: Revisit and review
  • Reading practice: Practice and apply
  • Review: Pacey review of any misconceptions