Reading and Phonics
Reading is central to every child’s development
Bredbury Green Primary school believes that reading is central to a child’s understanding of the school curriculum and is of vital importance in life. Fluent readers can access a full range of life experiences and can enjoy a breadth of genres and writers.
At Bredbury Green, we aim to develop a love and appreciation of reading which will stay with our children for life. We aim to use relevant and appropriate high level texts and resources within English lessons.
In EY and KS1, phonic skills are developed through highly focused, short daily sessions using a variety of strategies and resources. The children are taught in phase groups across the key stage. The children’s progress is regularly assessed and they move through the phases at their own pace. The school offers opportunities for parents to attend phonics workshops in order to increase understanding of the strategies used in school.
Phonic Session Cycle
Each phonics session will have a set structure as outlined below:
Revisit and review
■ Practise previously learned letters
■ Practise oral blending and segmentation
■ Teach a new letter
■ Teach blending and/or segmentation with letters (weeks 2 and 3)
■ Teach one or two tricky words (week 3 onwards)
■ Practise reading and/or spelling words with the new letter
■ Read or write a caption (with the teacher) using one or more high-frequency words and words containing the new letter (week 3 onwards)
Developing word recognition and language comprehension skills
In EY and KS1 the priority is given to securing the development of word recognition skills.
Children are taught:
- grapheme-phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences (the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequence.
- to apply the highly important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes in order, all through a word to read it.
- to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell them.
- that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.
- To achieve this there is high quality teaching of Phonics.
Teaching of Reading
English at Bredbury Green is taught in a cycle over 3-4 weeks. This consists of a reading week, grammar focused week and then a writing week. During the writing week the children draft and edit a written outcome.
For reading, children are exposed to high quality texts often linked to the child-led topic. The learning focus for the lessons during the reading week is taken from the reading content domains of the National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2, and for EY using Development Matters reading objectives:
Prior learning and assessment of pupils is taken into account and informs future planning so gaps are addressed diagnostically.
Below is a representation of the teaching cycle for English, including reading:
Our Spelling System
Our children need to think about links between words that they know, not learn words in isolation. Their spelling knowledge needs to be grounded in phonics using the skills learned so well in KS1. Using and adapting Jane Considine’s system, Y6 conducted a Randomised Controlled Trial based on the question ‘Can the explicit teaching of spelling, using phonics strategies adapted from Jane Considine’s research, improve overall spelling scores?’ Quantitative and qualitative data was overwhelmingly positive so the system is now used across the school. Some elements can be seen in KS1 and the 5-day system for KS2 is shown below:
This system will be reviewed by children, staff and parents at the end of this academic year (2021-22).
Reading Opportunities at Bredbury Green
Individual needs of pupils will always be taken into account. Some children will require individual or small group reading with an adult to support early skills e.g. decoding, blending. This will enable all children at Bredbury Green to become fluent, confident readers and thus develop a love of reading.
We have a well-stocked library at school, so children have the opportunity to access books during lessons to support learning and to borrow books to take home. Reading books in school are organised into a progressive colour banding levelling system and in the early stages these are matched to phonics phases. All children are encouraged to take books home regularly and are able to change these as often as they wish. Book bags are provided for all children when they start school in Reception and again at the start of KS2.
Events such as World Book Day are celebrated each year to promote reading across the school. Reading buddies from Upper KS2 are used to support the younger children with decoding and fluency skills. The older children are encouraged to communicate reading strategies to their younger peers such as finding cues and using phonic skills as well as engaging in conversation about the stories. This is a positive learning experience for all.