Reading at St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary
Children in our Reception and KS1 classes all read regularly to either the teacher or the teaching assistant. Our reading scheme is predominately the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ Scheme. However, in response to the finding of Ofsted in the publication, ‘Bold Beginnings’, we have incorporated other phonetically based books from other schemes to enhance our provision.
Adults also read aloud to children as we know that sharing stories, alongside the teaching of phonics, form the foundation of reading comprehension. As well as tuning in children’s ears to the structures and patterns of stories, the teacher’s retelling provided an opportunity to model fluency, expression and enjoyment.
Reading is also incorporated into all the subjects of the curriculum. We continue to add and extend our offer to ensure all of our children are able to find interesting texts that they both enjoy and are keen to read.
The teaching of reading and comprehension skills takes place within Guided Reading sessions. Teachers group children and select reading materials to suit each group. This gives every child an opportunity to work in a small teacher led group to develop their reading and text comprehension skills through questioning and discussion.
Each child has a reading book, which is from our book band scheme. The books get progressively harder as the children progress through the colours until they become a ‘free reader’. The teacher carries out a ‘book band check’ at least every half term to ensure that the books are still the correct level of challenge for the readers. The children love the sense of achievement as they move up through the scheme. The expectation is that they will read regularly at home and this is monitored by class teachers.
For children who struggle with reading, we run a number of reading interventions including: Letters and Sounds, for children with gaps in their phonics knowledge; a range of schemes which concentrate on sight recognition of the high frequency words and Lexia reading, a computer program that identifies particular areas of need and tailors the support for that area. We also have parent readers who volunteer to listen to children read. Interventions take place daily within school and are run by skilled teaching assistants and supported by the reading leader.
If you would like to support your child further with their reading, https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk website allows you to access reading books for free.
Phonics at St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary
We teach children to read using the synthetic phonics approach. Children learn the sounds that individual letters (phonemes) and groups of letters make and are taught how to blend them together to read words. A systematic approach is used throughout the school based on the progression, principles and practices in ‘Letters and Sounds’, alongside the writing and reading aspects of the National Curriculum. Letters and Sounds is a high quality phonics teaching resource produced by the government. From this resource, we have chosen to develop our own planning following the progression within Letters and Sounds, tailoring it to meet the needs of our children. We introduce each phoneme using mnemonics from the ‘Jolly Phonics’ scheme.
Children have a discrete 15 -20 minutes phonics teaching every day. They are explicitly taught phonics throughout key stage 1. The majority of children come to Key Stage 2 with a good phonics understanding. This understanding is supported further throughout their English and Guided Reading sessions.
For children who have gaps in their phonics knowledge and understanding, we run phonics intervention. This will take place regularly both within Literacy lessons and through withdrawal and catch up sessions. During these sessions, the children take part in activities and games which are planned to meet individual needs in order to close the gaps in their phonics knowledge.
Further information about Jolly Phonics is available at www.jollylearning.co.uk/jolly-phonics/