Chirton Primary

English- Phonics and early reading

Children need to learn to read as quickly and as reasonably possible, so they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading. Our expectations of progression are aspirational yet achievable, through ensuring we maintain pace, practice and participation by all children. Children who are not keeping up with their peers are given additional practice immediately through keep up sessions.

We believe that every child is a reader and in order to achieve this, we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised programme which provides a progression of GPCs and tricky words that we teach term-by-term. The progression has been organised so that children are taught from the simple to more complex GPCs, as well as taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words. All the graphemes are practiced in words, sentences, and later on, in fully decodable books. Children review and revise GPCs and words, daily, weekly and across terms and years, in order to move this knowledge into their long-term memory. A high emphasis is on speaking and listening throughout this phase as we believe it is important for children to hear the words and practice saying them aloud frequently in order to embed into their long term working memory. 

With reading at the heart of our curriculum, we place a strong emphasis on a working relationship with our on-site pre-school where teachers share stories with them and invite preschoolers into school to learn phonics in the spring and summer term. The use of the library is actively encouraged so all children become readers and develop a love of reading.

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, children make a strong start with teaching beginning in Week 2 of the Autumn term. 

We follow the little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Expectations of Progress:

  • 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 Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.

No child is left behind. In EYFS and KS1, all children read aloud daily during phonics or group/ whole class reading and throughout other subjects. In addition, the lowest 20% are targeted and have an intervention in place to ensure they read more frequently with the teacher or with other adult support. We use Little Wandle Catch-up to support the delivery of the interventions, with all staff delivering it, fully trained and supported. 

Teaching reading

We teach children to read through 3 reading sessions each week with each of them having a key focus to ensure children's working memory is not overloaded: decoding, prosody (teaching to read with expression and understanding) and comprehension (teaching children to understand the text)

Each session is taken by a fully trained member of staff who monitors, assesses and feeds back to the class teacher.