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Reading and Phonics
Children in Reception and Year 1 follow the RWI (Read, Write Inc) programme. In RWI lessons children learn to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly and compose their ideas step by step.
Throughout the programme, children learn the alphabet code: the 150+ graphemes that represent the 44 speech sounds. They rapidly learn sounds and the letter, or groups of letters, they need to represent them, in the three sets of speed sounds lessons. Simple and enjoyable mnemonics help all children to grasp the letter-sound correspondence quickly, especially those who are at risk of making slower progress or those who are new to learning English. This knowledge is taught and consolidated every day. High frequency words that are not phonically regular are taught as ‘tricky’ words (red words) and are practised frequently.
Lively books are closely matched to the children increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words so that, early on, they experience plenty of success. Repeated readings of the texts support their increasingly fluent decoding.
Pupils take home fully decodable books from the RWI scheme and a free choice book (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) to share with their parents. Teaching staff hear children read daily in RWI lessons, through individual reading checks and during paired reading in Year 1.
In Year 2 and throughout Key Stage 2, pupils have reading sessions daily.
Discreet comprehension is taught and practiced weekly, focussing on National Curriculum domains. In Year 2 children’s reading skills are assessed and take home decodable books where needed or age related books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. All pupils in Key Stage 2 (years 3-6) are assessed using The Accelerated Reading scheme Programme (A.R.). From the assessment, a reading age is given to each child and they choose a reading book within that reading age from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction. Children read their books at home and in daily discreet reading sessions. Having finished the book they complete an electronic comprehension quiz on an IPad to assess their understanding. Teaching staff hear pupils read at least once a week to analyse and assess their reading skills and progress. To further reading for pleasure classes visit our non-fiction library fortnightly and take home books to suit their choice and interest.
Reading at home.
In nursery pupils take home a story book that parents/ carers share with them. When they have learnt sounds they also take home a sound blending book from RWI. In Reception the pupils take home a book with no words in to develop book reading skills. Pupils are expected to discuss the pictures, developing their vocabulary. Once they have learnt enough sounds pupils take home fully decodable books from RWI to practice reading the words with sounds in that they have been taught. These books also have a controlled number of ‘tricky words’ in where the decoding of which has been specifically taught.
Pupils in Year 1 continue to take home the fully decodable books to embed the sounds taught in the RWI lessons. In Year 2 pupils continue to use the RWI reading books until they can confidently decode words involving most common grapheme representation of all the phonemes. Pupils will then read a selection of books that are age related from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
In addition to their reading book pupils in the Reception and Key Stage 1 take home a story book chosen from the class library. These books are for parents / carers to read to their child to develop a love of reading.
In Years 3-6 we use the Accelerated Reader programme, reading is transformed into high-quality reading practice that fuels growth: Reading quizzes monitor comprehension, while literacy skills and vocabulary quizzes extend student learning and build skills mastery. Children also take home a non-fiction free choice book in addition to their Accelerated Reader book.
Do not compare the book level your child is on with those of their classmates. We wouldn’t expect all children to be the same height when they start school, so neither should we expect them to read at the same level straightaway. If you’re concerned about the progress your child is making, make an appointment to talk to the teacher about it. Above all, your child needs to know that you value their efforts. Children learn to read gradually over time, not suddenly over-night and it can take lots of practice and support from parents and teachers to become fluent. Remember to praise your child whatever level they are at.
At Bowlee Park we want all of our children to be confident and competent readers. As part of school policy we ask that you read with your children for at least 15 minutes per night. This small amount of time can have a big impact on your child's learning.
Thank you for your support with such an important matter.