At Westwood, we see Reading as something valuable throughout the school. We feel Reading creates many opportunities for every child at our school and we want children to experience the pleasure of the subject. We have always valued how much Reading extends children’s imaginations, as well as contributing to how they work in everyday life. We are very clear about what we want our children to achieve in Reading as they move through school and therefore support our children in every way towards reaching these goals.
Read Write Inc.
In Nursery children begin exploring the world around them and asking questions about pictures and objects. Here the children are introduced to the Read Write Inc. signals. Stories are shared with children and discussed using a ‘thinking out loud’ approach. Here Children are encouraged to question and explore stories as well as play games linked to different texts. This is extended when children are introduced to the picture frieze and begin to recognise that each picture is linked to a sound. Their knowledge is built upon through games and provision where they begin to hear words broken into phonemes and graphemes.
In Reception, the children continue to use and learn the Read Write Inc. signals as their knowledge of the picture frieze is recapped and built upon by introducing letter sounds both visual and orally. They also begin to understand how each letter is formed and practise these in sand, water, on big paper, on whiteboards and with playdough during daily handwriting time. Through interactive lessons full of partner work, role-play and drama the children become familiar with the 44 initial sounds. Children develop their ‘Fred talk’ skills from Nursery and play daily ‘Fred Talk’ games to increase their ability to blend initial sounds. Once children are confident in Set 1 sounds, oral blending and decoding and blending CVC words they are introduced to Ditties/storybooks. On entry into Reception, children are taught in their own classes for 5 weeks. After 5 weeks, the children then are assessed on their sound knowledge and oral blending skills and are split into groups dependant on their phonic skill. Thereafter, children are assessed every 3 weeks to identify gaps and to ensure progress. Any children who are identified as to have any gaps in their phonic knowledge receive further 1:1 interventions specifically targeted to their need to help them ‘keep up’.
In Key Stage One, children recap their knowledge of Set 1 sounds and continue to develop their understanding of Set 2 sounds. Children continue their daily handwriting time where they practise new and previously taught sounds. Here, they spend time on spelling rules and letter formation. Lessons follow the same structure to those in Reception and children continue to use the Read Write Inc. signals and praise. Once children are secure with Set 1 and Set 2 sounds and can confidently decode and blend in their heads, they begin to learn Set 3 sounds and continue to build their fluency. Children continue to read phonic books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and their fluency is developed as they re-read the stories increases. Here, along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice. Throughout Key Stage One, the children are assessed every 3 weeks to check their knowledge of new sounds, blending and nonsense words. This assessment then determines which phonic group they are placed in. Any children who are identified as to have any gaps in their phonic knowledge receive further 1:1 interventions specifically targeted to their need to help them ‘keep up’.
We always understand that for a small amount of children, they will not have unlocked the phonics code by the time they reach Key Stage 2 and it is therefore necessary to continue learning Set 1,2 and 3 sounds and develop their fluency skills. These children will receive 1:1 tailored phonics sessions daily where they learn news sounds, consolidate previously taught sounds and read sounds in words. Children continue to read phonic books that closely match their growing phonic knowledge and ‘tricky’ words and they continue to develop their fluency through re-reading stories, playing jump in and timed reads. Following on from Key Stage One, children continue to be assessed every 3 weeks to inform their 1:1 lessons and ensure continued progress.