At Edmondsley Primary School, we intend for children to learn to enjoy reading and understand the role reading plays in well-being, particularly reading for pleasure and enjoying a good book! We aim to ensure children are equipped to read with confidence, fluency and understanding and use books with morals and lessons to learn wherever possible, ensuring they have a respect for the environment and the wider world. We also recognise that reading is a core tool for life and we aim to foster a love for reading in all through linking texts to our exciting and engaging thematic curriculum, ensuring children use enquiry skills to learn more and remember more.
Our Reading aims are:
- To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
- To ensure early readers find it easier to read by matching the books they take home to practise their reading to the letters and sounds they know or are learning.
- To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately and fluently.
- To broaden vocabulary and use of new words.
- To promote reading for pleasure.
- To develop comprehension skills, and enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussions about texts.
- To encourage good home/school partnerships.
- To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies.
- To support those children who require additional assistance with their reading
In Early Years, many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children.
In Reception and Year 1, children are heard read at least once a week by a teacher/TA. We also have parent helper readers who volunteer their time to give children this important 1:1 interaction. Year 6 children are also chosen as reading champions whereby they can share a year 1 child’s reading book with that child and discuss/explore the text.
Children from Year 2 onwards read in school independently, in guided groups, with reading buddies and as a weekly, shared class session.
Reading in School
Initially, as children learn to read in the Foundation Stage, they are given a book to share with an adult at home. They also share stories with adults during whole-class learning. A picture book with no words is then sent home, with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually, as the children’s knowledge of letters and sounds develop, they begin to phonetically decode words.
The first books given are Dandelion Readers, which are fully phonetically decodable. Our reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands, the start of which (after Foundation Stage) is a mix between phonetically decodeable texts and books with high frequency and Common Exception Words. Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book Band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. As children progress through the Book Bands, they have access to a greater variety of texts which may contain unknown words or patterns. When reading at school and at home, it is expected that adults discuss and assist with the reading of these words to build up the child’s working memory within reading. Children move through the Book Bands, independently (after Year 1) choosing their own books at their level, until they reach the required standard to become a Free-Reader. These books are chosen from our well-stocked class libraries.
Developing Reading for Pleasure
We encourage a love of reading linking our thematic based curriculum to the books we are studying as a whole-class. We also hold book-themed days and events, both as individual classes and across the whole school, for example, Sponsored Reading Challenges, World Book Day, Take One Book Week and Whole School Debate Week. We are developing stronger links with Durham and Chester-Le-Street libraries and all children are encouraged to participate in the summer reading challenge as well as having workshops and trips throughout the year. Reading assemblies take place once a term, introducing children to a variety of literature and asking them about their own preferences in reading. Book Fairs are held to allow all children the chance to look at new books of all genres and hopefully purchase a new book of their own to take home.
Assessment of Reading
Reading is assessed regularly through formative assessment. Summative assessments are inputted at the end of each term and monitored on the school tracking system. Liaison with the school SENCO, English Lead or external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.
Phonics is taught in a sequential programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1 and KS2 in groups differentiated, according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Letters and Sound programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics.
This is supplemented by phonics play. Children who require additional support for phonics, reading and spelling are placed onto the Nessy programme (Key Stage 1 to Year 3) and Lexia Program (Year 3 to Year 6) to consolidate and extend phonetic knowledge, understanding and use.
Our daily phonics sessions in Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 give an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills and sounds, practise together and individually and apply what they have learned. Our weekly spelling lessons in Key Stage 1 and 2 follow statutory guidance from the National Curriculum as well as spelling patterns/words which require revisiting for our children at Edmondsley Primary. One additional word a week is chosen and practised based on the needs of each individual class.
Phases of the Phonics Programme
Children in Nursery begin with Phase 1 which provides a range of listening activities through play, to develop their listening skills. Progress is tracked at the end of each term.
As children move into Reception they continue to build upon the listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught through practise writing and saying the letters to decode words.
Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one grapheme (spelling) is given for each phoneme.
When children enter Year 1, they consolidate their knowledge of Phase 3 sounds to ensure they have a secure understanding. They then continue into Phase 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase. It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they progress through year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant.
It is expected that the majority of children entering Year 2 will start Phase 6 which develops a variety of spelling strategies including homophones (word specific spellings). spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual grapheme-phoneme correspondences eg laughs, two.
The school spelling programs complement the phonics learning from Year 1 through to the end of KS2. The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases. Words from the National Curriculum word banks are also present in the school spelling program and are learnt weekly.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed, using formative assessments to allow for progression or consolidation, support or extension. Children are formally assessed at the end of each term using our phonics tracking system to ascertain what children have learnt and remembered. The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional support. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics.
Phonics workshops in Reception and Year 1 give parents information about how they can support their children at home with phonics. Helping your child read at home workshops for Key Stage 1 and 2 are held annually to engage children and parents more with their child’s reading.
Through the teaching and learning of reading at Edmondsley Primary School, our pupils develop the skills to effectively decode, comprehend and appreciate a range of texts. They are well-prepared to move into secondary school and to further develop their skills to tackle more challenging texts to ultimately prepare themselves for the future. They have a well-developed capability to understanding a text and the ability to retrieve, understand and use information gained from reading.
Spelling and Grammar
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.