Phonics and Reading at Wolsey House
Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have a daily phonics lesson. We use Read Write Inc., a synthetic phonics scheme that prepares children for learning to read by developing phonic knowledge and skills in a systematic programme. The aim of the scheme is to make children fluent readers by the age of seven.
The children work on learning Speed Sounds Set 1. Where they learn the phonemes (the sounds) that 31 graphemes (letter or letters) make. They then learn to read words by blending the sounds (Green words are words that can be phonetically decoded). They also learn how to write these sounds and to spell these words.
When their blending skills are at an appropriate level they begin to read simple sentences in Ditty Books and then progress on to reading the Storybooks.
The children are also taught to read Red words – words that cannot be sounded out, such as the, my, said. The children have to read these words by sight – remembering the word just by looking at it. Set 2 Speed sounds are also taught in Foundation stage 2 – these are the long vowel sounds.
Key Stage 1
The teaching of phonics builds on the children’s phonic knowledge and skills through the teaching of Set 2 and Set 3 speed sounds so that by the end of the Read Write Inc. scheme the children know the 44 speech sounds in the English language and the GPC (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence) for these sounds i.e. how to read and write them.
The complex speed sounds chart shows all the sounds and ways they can be written that the children will learn by the end of Key Stage 1.
Complex speed sound chart
By Year 2 the children should know all of the GPCs and should be able to read hundreds of words, doing so in three ways:
The children will now be reading longer books in literacy lessons but will still be encouraged to use their phonic knowledge and skills to tackle difficult and unfamiliar words. Learning the key words (common exception words) by sight becomes more of a priority within Key Stage 1 to aid children’s fluency when reading longer texts.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 we build on the children’s phonic knowledge and focus more on the spelling patterns and rules to aid decoding of new and unfamiliar words. For children who are still finding reading a challenge we will continue to use phonics as the prime strategy for ensuring that children learn to read.
Phonics Screening Check
In June all children in Year 1 take part in a national phonics screening check. This is a statutory check for all pupils to ensure that high quality phonics teaching is taking place in schools across the country. The check consists of reading 40 words – 20 real words and 20 nonsense words.
Pupils who do not meet the expected score at the end of Year 1 will receive extra phonic support and will retake the phonic screen at the end of Year 2. Their progress is tracked carefully and continuously.
In the Foundation Stage and Years 1 and 2 individual phonic assessments are regularly carried out to track progress and attainment so that teaching can be matched to needs and targeted support can be put in place to ensure that children master this fundamental skill to ensure they develop as readers.
Phonics and Reading the Bigger Picture
Phonics is the prime method for teaching children to decode but it is not the only way to teach children to read. Phonics will only work in an environment where speaking and listening skills are promoted and developed as well. Children also need to be regularly exposed to a wide range of quality texts therefore we ensure that the children are read aloud to by adults within the school day and given the opportunity to question and discuss texts that they themselves would not be able to read.
The children also take part in Shared Reading sessions within literacy lessons where specific reading skills are taught. In Guided Reading sessions the children develop their reading skills with the support of an adult. The children also have Individual Reading books appropriate to their ability to read at home and to adults within school.
Learning to read is an incredibly complex skill to master and children develop at different rates. Using phonics to teach reading provides children with the essential knowledge and skills to succeed at this most vital skill for life.
Guided Reading - Information for Parents
During guided reading, the children work in groups on various activities. There are four or five groups in a class, each group at around the same level in their reading. The teacher works on guided reading with each group once a week on a rota basis. This is an opportunity for the teacher to give individual help and to assess each child’s progress and needs. This assessment affects planning for future teaching. There is a mix of reading aloud and discussing part of the book that has been read previously in preparation for the session. While the teacher is working with one group, the other groups are undertaking focused literacy activities independently, or working with a teaching assistant.
In KS1, they could be doing activities such as working with words and sounds, listening and reading with an audio book, reading together, playing word games or making sentences.
In KS2, they could be reading aloud in the group, continuing comprehension activities started the previous day, summarising a passage to the rest of the group, predicting what happens next, completing a character analysis, research reading or working on a focused grammar activity. While the children are reading and discussing, they are also analysing the layout of the book and will use the good points in their own writing. The children read and study many children’s classics and even parts of Shakespeare’s plays. They look at a variety of poems of all kinds from different periods. Other cultures are represented by such texts as the Greek myths or traditional and modern stories from India and Africa. Although the children will usually be reading in groups of five, of similar ability, at other times the teacher might decide to pair children up across groups if the work is the same. Less fluent readers may be paired with more fluent readers to tackle a task together. In this way the less fluent reader gets a helping hand while the more fluent reader is challenged to read in an interesting way, to explain points clearly and to demonstrate a high level of knowledge, understanding and maturity.
Individual Readers at Wolsey House
All children bring home an Individual Reader a book at an appropriate level for their reading development. The Individual Reader books are organised into Stages and 3 tracks within each stage. Children progress at different rates and so this is only a guide as to the stage of text and age of child.
Expected year group to be reading it.
1 - 3
Foundation Stage 2
Within each stage the books are organised into 3 tracks – Fast, Medium and Slow. The children start on the Fast Track in each stage and when they have read the last book in the fast track they are assessed on their reading of the book. Their reading accuracy, reading skills and understanding of the book is assessed. If they pass the assessment they move up a stage. If they do not pass the assessment then they move onto the medium track, staying on the same stage (difficulty of text). There is an assessment at the end of each track allowing them to progress up a stage frequently.
Children will be deemed a free reader when they have passed a stage 16 assessment.
Children in KS1 have access to Bug Club reading materials – an online scheme of e-reading books that can be used at home to increase reading miles.
Remember this key phrase – “Children who read succeed”
Reading Information for Parents
Children are natural learners. They are constantly learning about their environment through interaction, exploration, trial and error, and "having a go" at things.
Children watch what adults do and then act out what they have seen. This role-play of adult behaviour is an intrinsic component of childhood learning. As a child's world of experience expands, so deeper understandings are constructed. New learning is always built upon existing foundations, and existing structures are constantly being adapted to accommodate fresh insights.
From a very early age children can be encouraged to enjoy books by sharing them with adults. The six-month old child who turns the pages of a board book is beginning to behave like a reader.
The adult can build upon this by giving support and encouragement. By demonstrating how books work, talking about the illustrations and indicating how they relate to print, the adult is showing the child the meaning and purposes for reading.
Children need to understand this so that they will be motivated to read. Children can be encouraged to retell stories and by valuing their attempts to make sense of the print, the adult can foster an enthusiasm for and a positive attitude to reading. Children also learn from their environment and their interaction with others. In our literate society, environmental print demonstrates the many purposes for reading and encourages children to develop an understanding to the written word. Children, therefore, become literate in the same way as they learn to speak their home language. By experimenting, taking risks and interacting with more skilled language users, children are reading for real purposes in meaningful context.
CONTEXT: THE LITERATE ENVIRONMENT
It is important to create the correct literate environment for children to develop their reading skills confidently and comfortably.
"Children should be encouraged from the earliest stage to pay attention to the various forms of the printed word and the functions it serves."
Children need to understand that there are many different purposes for reading
e.g. information, pleasure and instruction.
They are surrounded by print from their earliest days, at home, and in the wider community.
Teachers and parents can inspire this interest by taking children on a "print walk" around the neighbourhood; collecting examples of notices, signs, advertisements, and labels etc. including non-written symbols and in some areas printed in different language, scripts and visual texts.
Within the home there are often newspapers, magazines, books, letters, forms, circulars and food packages. Television advertisements, with the spoken and written word and supporting visual images also have a powerful influence and are assimilated easily by children.
Within the community there are many examples of environmental print e.g. street names, large advertisements, hoardings, shop signs, notice boards etc. In the shops and supermarkets children soon learn to recognise foods, sweets, crisps by their distinctive labels.
Children's awareness of print must be acknowledged and valued. Building on their knowledge and experience, adults and children can work together to create a print rich environment. In this process, opportunities will arise for adults to model, read and share the meaning of the written word.
Pupils should encounter an environment in which they are surrounded by books and other reading material presented in an inviting and attractive way. The reading material should include material which relates to the real world, such as labels, captions, notices, children's newspapers, books of instruction, plans and maps, diagrams, computer print outs and visual display." English in the National Curriculum
We believe that parents play a vital role in helping their child learn to read. After all they taught the child to talk. School and home working in partnership together create the perfect setting for encouraging a love of reading. We appreciate the commitment Parents give in helping their children to become confident readers. In terms of supporting their reading at home, the children need to be encouraged to read stories, poetry, plays and all kinds of information texts. They also need to be able to choose the kinds of books that they enjoy. They may already be hooked onto a particular writer or type of book, or some may be more tuned into magazines or information texts.
We believe that children should:
READING ALL THE TIME
Take every opportunity to read with your child. A wide variety of books/texts are available from:
• The local library
Print is all around us. Even when time is scarce, you can read with your child e.g. signs in the street, labels in the supermarket, the TV page in the newspaper.
ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO READ EVERYTHING!
We encourage you to read often with your child at home. Every time you read with your child please sign their reading card – so that they can earn house points.
Here are a few things to remember when reading at home with your child.
As your child progresses through the stages it becomes more important not just to check if they can read the words but to talk about what is happening in the story, why things happen, what the characters are like and what words mean. This will help develop your child’s comprehension skills – their ability to understand what they are reading.
Bed Time Stories
Reading to your child is vital for a child of any age. It helps develop their understanding of vocabulary, stories and helps to build a love of books and a sense of mental wellbeing as they share a special moment with a parent/carer.
SUPPORTING READING - In terms of supporting their reading at home, your children need to be encouraged to read stories, poetry, plays and all kinds of information texts. They also need to be able to choose the kinds of books that they enjoy. They may already be hooked onto a particular writer or type of book, or some may be more tuned into magazines or information texts.
READING ALOUD – As your children progress through the school, they may begin to feel that they do not need to read aloud. All children, regardless of ability, will benefit from reading to someone. It gives them the chance to read fluently with expression in order to keep the listener’s attention. Many really enjoy having an opportunity to share their book with a family member or friend. Check your child really understands the book by asking them to relate the story to you.
WHAT CAN A PARENT/CARER DO TO HELP AT HOME?
What can I do to help my child at Reception, Year 1 and 2?
Re-read books that are familiar to your child:
When your child reads and gets a word wrong, allow them to complete the sentence before correcting them. Children can often work out the ‘difficult’ word by understanding the rest of the sentence. You can also help your child to break down ‘difficult’ words into parts that they recognise. Do not worry if your child's reading is not word perfect. If they are making sense of the text, this does not matter e.g. "house" instead of "home", "Good dog, Spot" instead of "Good boy, Spot". It would matter, however, if they read: "He got on his house and rode away", as this would have changed the meaning. Always be ready to take over if your child is struggling. With your help they will succeed and will want to read more and more as a result.
HELPING YOUR CHILD READ A WORD
What can I do to help my child at Years 3 and 4?
What can I do to help my child at Years 5 and 6?
This stage is important for your child as a life-long reader. If he/she is interested now, it is likely that he/she will continue to enjoy reading, with all the benefits that it brings.
WHAT SHOULD YOU WRITE IN THE READING RECORD?
It is important that the Reading Record reflects the child's reading patterns.
Regular comments from the parent/carer, linked to the questions below, are also needed to show that the child is extending his/her reading through questioning and interaction with an adult.
The following list is not on exhaustive list but offers suggestions that may be appropriate. It is very important to remember that the enjoyment factor is always worth commenting on. Parents are not expected to comment on each of the following areas after each reading session.
SUPPORTING THE CONFIDENT READER
As your child/ren progress through the school, they may begin to feel that they do not need to read aloud. All children, regardless of ability, will benefit from reading to someone. It gives them the chance to read fluently with expression in order to keep the listener’s attention. Many really enjoy having an opportunity to share their book with a family member or friend. Check your child really understands the book by asking them to relate the story to you together with asking them appropriate questions.
Some confident readers may reach the stage where they no longer wish to read to an adult and want to read silently to themselves. The interaction between the parent and child changes at this stage. To ensure that the child's reading development continues to move forward, we would encourage parents to question the child about what they are reading, at an appropriate time, to extend their reading and share their enjoyment of the book.
The following questions will provide ideas that you can extend to suit individual needs.
Examples of questions to ask:
Questions to ask before your child begins or resumes their book:
ADVICE IF READING BECOMES A CHALLENGE AT HOME
We would like all of our children to enjoy reading rather than see it as an effort/hard work/something they do not enjoy.
These are some possible strategies to support you if reading does become a challenge:
Questions to ask your child when reading
Progressive questions to be used with fiction books
Where does the story take place?
When did the story take place?
What did the character look like?
Where did the character live?
Who are the key characters in the book?
What happened in the story?
What kinds of people are in the story?
Explain something that happened at a specific point in the story?
If you were going to interview this character / author which questions would you ask?
Which is your favourite part? Why?
Who would you like to meet most in the story? Why?
What do you think would happen next if the story carried on past the end of the book?
Who was the storyteller? How do you know?
Predict what you think is going to happen next. Why do you think this?
Is this a place you could visit? Why / why not?
How is the main character feeling at the start / middle / end of the story? Why do they feel that way? Does this surprise you?
Were you surprised by the ending? Is that what you expected? Why / why not?
What is the main event of the story? Why do you think this?
How has the text been organised?
Why do you think authors use short sentences?
How do you think it would end / should end?
Has the author used an unusual layout in the text? If so, describe it and say why you think they did this?
Has the author used a variety of sentence structures?
Has the author put certain words in bold or italic? Why have they done this?
Why did the author choose this title?
Do you want to read the rest of text? How does the author encourage you to read the rest of the text?
Can you find some examples of effective description? What makes them effective?
Which part of the story best describes the setting?
Can you find examples of powerful adjectives? What do they tell you about a character or setting?
Can you find examples of powerful adverbs? What do they tell you about a character, their actions or the setting?
Find an example of a word you don’t know the meaning of. Using the text around it, what do you think it means?
Can you think of another story that has a similar theme e.g. good over evil, weak over strong, wise over foolish?
Why did the author choose this setting?
What makes this a successful story? What evidence do you have to justify your opinion?
How could the story be improved or changed for the better?
What was the most exciting part of the story? Explain your answer as fully as you can.
What genre is this story? How do you know?
What was the least exciting part of story? Explain your answer as fully as you can.
When the author writes in short sentences, what does this tell you?
Do you know another story, which deals with the same issues e.g. social, cultural, moral issues?
Have you ever been in a similar situation to a character in the book? What happened?
How would you have felt in the same situation?
What would you have done differently to the character in a particular situation from the book?
How would you feel if you were treated in the same way as the main character?
What did the story make you think of?
Have you read any other stories that have similar characters to this one? If so, which story was it and what happened?
Do you think this book is trying to give the reader a message? It so, what is it?
Progressive questions to be used with non-fiction books
What is the text about? What is the title of the text? Who is the author of the text?
What kinds of things would you expect to see in this book?
Can you find examples of different features of this text type?
Find something that interests you from the text. Explain why you chose that particular part.
Where would you look to find out what a technical word means?
What is on the cover of the book? What does this tell you about the content inside?
Which parts of the book could help you find the information you need?
When would you use the contents page in the book?
When would you use the index page in the book?
What sort of person do you think would use this book?
When might someone use this book? Why?
Can you suggest ideas for other sections or chapters to go into the book?
Do you think the author of the book is an ‘expert’ about the topic of the book? Why / why not?
Can you find an example of a page you think has an interesting layout? Why did you choose it?
Why have some of the words been written in italics?
What are the subheadings for?
Why have some of words been written in bold?
How does the layout help the reader?
What is the purpose of the pictures?
Can you find examples of words which tell you the order of something?
What kind of a text is this? How do you know?
Why does this book contain technical vocabulary?
Find an example of a technical word. Read the sentence it’s in. What do you think it means based on and how it’s used in the sentence?
Are there any examples of persuasive language?
Why do we need a glossary in a text?
Why has the writer written this text?
Have you found any of the illustrations, diagrams or pictures useful? Why / why not? Try to explain fully.
Why did the writer try to present the information in the way they did?
How could the information be presented better?
What makes the text successful?
Are there any features it hasn’t got? Why do you think it doesn’t have them?
Can you think of another text that is similar to this one? What are the similarities and differences between them?
Some useful websites for you:
www.phonicsplay.co.uk www.literacytrust.org.uk www.crickweb.co.uk/assets/resources/flash.php?&file=ww www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/interactive/onlinestory.htm www.snaithprimary.eril.net/rindex.htm—nursery rhymes