‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
At Green Street Green, 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 systematic and synthetic phonics programme. Phonics teaching begins in Reception, and we follow the 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. As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Green Street Green, 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. We value reading at Green Street Green, as we know it is
a vital 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, and we encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
ImplementationIn Reception and Year 1, Phonics is taught daily. 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 2 of the Autumn term. 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 Phases 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy. Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read. 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 and above who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. We use the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-up assessments to identify the gaps in a child’s phonic knowledge and teach these using the Rapid Catch-up resources – at pace. Reading practice sessions take place three times a week for every child. These are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children, using books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments. Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills- decoding, prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression, and comprehension: teaching children to understand the text. In Reception these sessions start as soon as the children are ready. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books. In Years 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practice reading with decodable books.
Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments such as the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Additionally, we track our own reading attainment through the use of the half termly Little Wandle and screening assessments. Our daily assessments ensure a thorough understanding by all, and immediate feedback is given, as well as daily catch up sessions for small groups of children where needed. We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy. Our regular reading sessions ensure a solid understanding of the sounds learnt previously, read in context.
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