Reading and Phonics
How we teach reading
Read Write Inc. Phonics and Reading programme
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
At Lacey Green Primary Academy, we follow the Read Write Inc (RWInc) Phonics/Reading scheme.
Read, Write Inc is a highly successful phonics programme for children aged 4 to 7 who are learning to read and write. It teaches children how to both decode and understand written language to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. This is achieved by a dynamic approach to teaching phonics that is consistent across the school using the Read, Write Inc phonics resources and fully decodable reading books.
Children are grouped according to their ability in Early Years and Key Stage 1 to ensure that teaching is matched to their level. Phonics in Early Years and Key Stage 1 takes place on a daily basis. Children in Key Stage 2 that still require phonics teaching, continue with a specially tailored programme (RWInc) to meet their individual needs.
Shared Reading forms part of the daily phonics lessons and is led by the reading teachers. Each child reads for at least 20 minutes every day, in a small group with their reading teacher. All texts are linked to the child's phonic ability. Children enjoy one focus text per week and learning activities support accurate and fluent reading to facilitate comprehension. In addition, children take fully decodable reading books home to further practice skills learnt at school. These books are matched to each child's phonics ability and are closely monitored by the reading teachers to ensure that children are reading books of an appropriate level. Each child visits the school library every week or fortnightly to select a book of their choice to share at home. Visits to the school library are quality sessions where children explore and discover books by different authors and of different genres.
How will my child be taught to read?
We teach the children phonics straight away in Reception. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the (Phonemes) sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down (Graphemes). This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well.
We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Once the children have learnt to blend accurately, they start to read with fluency. This is achieved through speedy reading of individual words and repeated reads of their shared reading books. 'Tricky words' such as 'once' 'said' 'the' are not phonetically decodable and these are taught explicitly as part of the reading session.
To develop the children's love of stories, we have dedicated story time, across all Key Stages, daily. The teachers read to the children, introducing them to a variety of stories, poetry and information books - and authors. They acquire new vocabulary through teaching, which focuses on embedding new words into their autographic memory.
Children who join the School throughout the year are quickly assessed in phonics and grouped according to their ability. Children in Early Years and Key Stage 1, and those in Key Stage 2 who still require phonics, are assessed and regrouped every half term to ensure they receive the correct level of support and challenge. If children are not where we would expect them to be at certain points in the year, they will have daily extra phonics practise with their Reading Tutor, to secure progress. Every child learns to read and becomes a reader!
To see our phonics (speed sound) and shared reading sessions in action, please watch the videos below.
Good Reading Habits
Throughout the curruciulum, teachers encourage children to develop these reading habits:
- To sound/out segment words that they find difficult to say.
- Reread phrases, sentences or paragrphs in order to help with understanding.
- Infer from the text: consider what a character is like/what they are feeling; develop your own picture of a setting, adding in your own features based on what you have read.
- Identify words that are tricky and to try and infer meaning from the text.
- Make predictions based on what has been read.
- Ask questions based on what you have read and your own interests.
- Make links with other texts based on themes/styles.
- Develop your own opinion on the text.
Children progress from the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to the Read Write Inc. Spelling programme, in Year 2 upwards throughout the school. A dedicated spelling session is taught daily from Year 2.
Read, Write Inc. has 5 underlying principles – the five Ps:
1. PACE – no time is wasted during teaching sessions! Children are active and involved in a fun and creative way. The aim is for the children to complete the programme as quickly as possible.
2. PRAISE – teachers praise the children constantly throughout the teaching sessions. Children learn more quickly when they are praised for what they do well, rather than nagged for what they do wrong. The children are encouraged to praise each other and as a school we have developed several ‘Praise Phrases’ and ‘Praise actions’. Ask your child to demonstrate!
3. PURPOSE – each activity has a very clear purpose. The teacher will set this purpose at the beginning of the lesson so that the children know exactly what they will be learning.
4. PARTICIPATION – all children take part in all parts of the lesson. Full participation is gained through partner work and choral response.
5. PASSION – as a staff we are passionate about our teaching and the benefits of the Read, Write Inc. programme! We love teaching the sessions and this enthusiasm rubs off onto the children.
Steps to Read
In KS1 and KS2, children will also be taught using Literacy Count’s Steps to Read scheme.
Lessons provide a clear teaching sequence to reading sessions that explicitly teach reading skills and strategies in a cumulative way.
The primary aim of Steps to Read is to teach reading comprehensions skills and strategies explicitly.
In KS1, skills include:
- draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts
- identify / explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information
- identify and explain the sequence of events in texts
- make inferences from the text
- predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
In KS2, skills include:
- give / explain the meaning of words in context
- retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction
- summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph
- make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text
- predict what might happen from details stated and implied
- identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole
- identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases
- make comparisons within the text
For more information, see the Progression Maps for each year group.
Children in EYFS are taught using Literacy Count’s Steps to Read scheme in the Summer term. For the first two terms, we follow Read Write Inc's Talk Through Stories programme.
Oxford Owl is a free website built to support you with your child’s learning. You’ll find age-specific reading and maths tips and activities, eBooks, and lots of fun ideas to really bring your child’s learning to life. You will also find support and advice on a range of questions you may have – including helping your child with their phonics, motivating boys to read and ensuring your child is doing their best in maths.
This website provides information about the national Bookstart scheme and the Bookstart packs that your child will receive as a baby, a toddler and at age three to four. It also gives information about sharing books with your child. You can find out about Bookstart events in your area, which you can attend with your child.
What can I do to help?
Visit the Lacey Green English Hub - YouTube to see our phonics and reading in action, and to find out more about how we support children to become readers.
Below are some videos to support parents with the way we teach phonics.
Please also find our Reading Policy and Reading Progression Map listed below.