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English (Reading including phonics)

At Priory Rise, we know that being able to read is the gateway to a whole world of learning and is a passport to numerous adventures! There are many little ways to enlarge a child’s world and we believe a love of books is the best of all!

We want all children at Priory Rise to develop a life-long love of reading as well as develop all the skills and fluency that they need to achieve. The promotion of a love for reading across the school is developed through reading displays in classrooms, regular library visits, class stories/novels, reading events such as World Book Day celebrations, book fairs and other reading activities outside of the curriculum, as well as sharing reading at home.

By the time our pupils leave us at the end of Year 6, we want children to be able to read fluently, with confidence and passion, in any subject so that they are ready to move on and have every chance of meeting their full potential as they enter Key Stage 3.

We approach the teaching of reading with enthusiasm, passion and a breadth of reading opportunities and text types, we do not want to miss any opportunity to spark a child’s interest! Teachers model reading for pleasure by reading aloud frequently to their classes, ensuring high quality texts are used and provide a good oral model to what a storyteller sounds like. They read a huge variety of written material with the children including fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries and poems. Books are shared that illustrate our school values (one is focussed upon each month) and those that embrace diversity and inclusivity. In addition, each year group has access to a ‘Class Book Box’ containing challenging and interesting novels for teachers to read to their classes, exposing children to language and classic stories which they may find too challenging to read independently.

We also introduce our children to a range of authors and genres in English lessons where often a book will ‘drive’ and link the other areas of the curriculum. We make explicit links between reading and writing. We read as a writer, and we write for our reader.

We recognise that word knowledge is vital in comprehending text and so, across the school, we focus on learning new words and their meaning in context. Language acquisition is vital to success as a reader, a writer and a learner. All our classrooms have vibrant word displays which grow throughout the year and form a trail of learning which can be used across the curriculum. All classrooms have an attractive and well-stocked reading corner for the children to spend some time of independent reading.

All children at Priory Rise participate in a guided reading session with their class teacher each week. In these sessions, we use our reading Vipers and our ‘Hooked on Books’ reading lenses to respond to questions and analyse a wide variety text and genre.

Early reading skills

Early reading skills are taught through the systematic use of phonics using Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds Revised. The children are taught grapheme (letter) and phoneme (sound) correspondence and the skills of blending and segmenting phonemes to help them decode words. This is done in a progressive and systematic way, with many opportunities to embed previous learning.

Parents are asked to be fully involved in a home-school reading system for all children, which requests that children read a book at the appropriate level for them, for at least ten minutes each day.

We have decodable books that are matched 5 phases of letter sounds in Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds Revised. These books are made up of Little Wandle books and from phonics books that we have aligned to the scheme. Children are regularly and carefully assessed and have a reading book that is exactly matched to their phonic knowledge to ensure they can succeed at reading. The assessments help us to match books to the exact phonic understanding of each child.  Phonic books are changed weekly to enable the child to have repetition to support reading with accuracy, fluidity, good comprehension of the context of the text and fabulous prosody (expression and intonation).

How to support with phonics at home.

If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview, videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources. 

Little Wandle Letters & Sounds

All children will also have a colour banded book. For children on phases 2-5, the colour banded book may contain words that cannot be decoded, and these books are for sharing with parents. These books help with language acquisition and have a breadth of text type.

Children who are reading phase 5 and beyond will also be assessed using PM Benchmarking. In this assessment, we assess accuracy, fluency and comprehension within a level, and this guides our teaching and teacher judgements of movement through the colours. We make sure that children spend time in each colour band to have mastery of the language presented in the level. We want them to read as a storyteller – with flow and expression within each level as they progress.

Age related recommended books.