Early Reading and Phonics
At White Bridge Primary School, we understand that reading is a fundamental skill that is vital for pupils' success in all subjects of the curriculum. Our aim is to ensure that all children are lifelong readers who read for pleasure as well as for information.
Early Reading and Phonics
All children in the Reception and Year 1 are taught phonics daily. In Year 2, phonics is taught in conjunction with learning about spelling, grammar and the use of punctuation. We use a scheme called 'Little Wandle' which is a systematic synthetic phonics scheme based on letters and sounds. These sessions will teach the children to read words by blending sounds (e.g. c-a-t = cat) and to spell by segmenting spoken words (e.g. cat = c-a-t).
The scheme is broken down into phases 1-5. EYFS children will be taught phases 1-4 and Year 1 will recap phases 2-4 and will be taught phase 5. Year 2 will recap all of the phonics taught at the start of the year and then move on to spelling and grammar objectives in the National Curriculum using the Little Wandle fluency programme. Those children who are still in need of daily phonics teaching will receive this until they are able to read words containing sounds from all 5 phases.
With the exception of children with specific SEN, all children in each year are taught the same phonics lesson. If there are gaps from previous learning in the child's understanding, then they are given additional support where necessary. The children are supported to 'keep up, not catch up' to ensure that they do not fall behind their peers.
Alongside their daily phonics sessions, each child will also read a book with an adult:
If a child is still learning how to blend words to read, then they will read individually twice a week with blending being the main focus.
Once a child is able to blend, they then start group reading. Group reading happens three times a week for each child. They have a book matched to their reading ability and they read the same book for each of the sessions. The first read focusses on decoding where the children read the story out loud to themselves and the adult moves around and listens to each child. There may also be some reading together as a group and the adult may read some of the book to the children. The second read focusses on prosody which is the rhythm of the reading. The focus will be on reading using expression and taking note of punctuation and grammar. The third read focusses on comprehension where the adult will ask a variety of different questions about the book.
More information on how we teach phonics and reading can be found on the Little Wandle website: https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
For parents - littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk
The resources on this page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home.
You can also find more information in the 'Parents' section under 'Phonics 2023'.
Phonics Screening Check
The phonics screening check is to ensure that all children can use all of the phonics skills taught to them so far. The check is a mixture of real words and pseudowords (alien words). All of the words are phonetically decodable. The current year 1 children will take it in June. Any children in Year 2 who did not pass the check last year, will have another try at the same time as the Year 1 children in June.
High Frequency words and Tricky (non-decodable) Words
In order for the children to read fluently, we also teach them additional high frequency words and tricky words. These are words that form part of our language but may contain sounds which they have not learnt yet or are not decodable. There is a list of the words your child is currently learning in the back of their reading diary.
It is incredibly important that every child reads regularly at home. This is part of the homework for EYFS and KS1 so it is important that this forms part of your routine at home.
EYFS and Year 1: All children will have a Little Wandle matched scheme book. If they are group reading, they will have the book that they have been using during the group reading sessions.
Year 2: Children will have a Little Wandle reading books until they are secure with all of the phase 5 sounds and can read at over 60wpm. They will then move on to the Little Wandle Fluency books. When the child is fluent and fully understands what they are reading in the smaller chapter books, they become a free reader which means they can choose from our class library.
All children in EYFS and KS1 will also have a sharing book that they take home to share with an adult. This book is the child's choice and is encourages the children to enjoy reading a variety of different texts. This could be fiction or non-fiction.
Reading in Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 we continue to focus on building a love of reading and reading for pleasure both in the classroom and at home with regular independent and whole class reading times throughout the week. Those that need it will continue with small discreet phonics sessions as an intervention in the afternoons.
Part of Key Stage 2 homework is reading at home 4 times a week with the Reading Diary signed by an adult. Although the majority of children in Key Stage 2 will be able to read independently, we encourage them to continue to read with an adult as often as possible so the more complex plots, characters and vocabulary they will encounter can be discussed.
For children who would like to do extra work at home there are the spellings and meanings of the National Curriculum Word Lists for Years 3-4 or 5-6 in the Reading Diary for them to learn but this is not compulsory.
In order to encourage reading at home, we have a reading challenge from EYFS to Year 6. Each child is expected to read at least 4 times a week at home. This could be their scheme book, a sharing book or any other book that the child has chosen to read for pleasure. Reading diaries are checked regularly and, on a Monday, a sticker is put into the reading diaries to show if they have achieved 4 reads or not.
If a child has read 4 or more times a week, they get an individual stamp on their reading card which will contribute to a bronze (10 weeks), then silver (20 weeks), then gold (30 weeks) reading certificate.
They also get to colour in a book on the class reading challenge. When the class have collectively coloured in 100 books, then they may choose a special class treat.
We thank you in advance for supporting your child in their reading during their time at White Bridge.