Phonics and Reading
We believe that Reading is the cornerstone of a broad and balanced curriculum and provides our children with the vocabulary and understanding to progress successfully, academically and socially.
'The most important starting point is to read to children. Reading to children is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading.
By reading stories aloud to children every day, you are forming a link for them between reading, comfort and love. When you love a book, your children will want to hear it again and again! Children thrive on repetition, so when you’ve read Room on the Broom for the hundredth time, remember you are hardwiring their brains for success.'
(Ruth Miskin, 2020)
At New Christ Church Primary School, we follow the systematic synthetic phonics programme, 'Read Write Inc.'. Phonics is taught on a daily basis throughout the EYFS and KS1 and targeted interventions are delivered using Read Write Inc. in KS2.
We are committed to every child learning to read as quickly as possible with the strongest start to reading in the Foundation Stage. We follow Ruth Miskin's 'Read Write Inc Phonics' programme daily and follow this programme rigorously. Last year all staff underwent refresher training and we commenced working with our local English Hub school in order to ensure we deliver the highest quality teaching of reading. We are always excited to see how this transforms our youngest children into confident, happy readers. Our children do well in the phonics screening check and by Year 2, the majority are fluent readers with the best chance of success in the end of Key Stage 1 tests.
Read Write Inc sessions take place every morning for all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children with no exceptions, as the pace and consistency of the programme is a key element to developing reading skills for all children. This is integral to allowing our children to effectively learn the rest of the school curriculum using their knowledge and skill in reading.
Our ultimate aims and objectives within the Read Write Inc. programme are for the children to be able to learn and apply sound blending skills and to learn to segment words in order to be able to create skilled and confident readers. Children also learn to read and spell words that do not conform to regular phonetic patterns (High Frequency Words) and decode both fiction and non-fiction texts through discussion, performance and teacher led activities.
Following a short series of Read Write Inc. lessons (3 or 5 day rolling cycle depending on ability), children are then given accurately matched, fully decodable Read Write Inc. 'Book Bag Books' that allow the children to apply their phonic knowledge and practice reading at home with their parents. This means that the books contain only the sounds in which the children have already been taught so far and leaves nothing for the children to 'guess' when reading (which can often lead to errors). It is therefore important for the children to experience success when reading these books and they must be celebrated for reading these fluently at home. Allow them to show off their reading ability to you and share the joy of reading together!
'Read-a-lot-children do well at school; they read in two days what many children read in a year. They absorb the vocabulary, grammar, ideas and, above all, knowledge.
Everything hangs on children wanting to read: begging, nagging and testing do not get children to want to read. Children are like us - they only read if they want to.
I don’t think there’s a big secret about what to do; we need to show children how much we love stories. Read great stories, poems and non-fiction every day, all through school. What we love today they might read tomorrow.'
(Ruth Miskin, 2020)
We are very excited to be using Accelerated Reader in KS2. Children are enjoying reading books which are directly matched to their vocabulary skills and interests and then carrying out quizzes to test how much they have retained from the books. Their progress is linked to their success in the quizzes they take which ensures rapid progress but ensures a high level of understanding. The quizzes have a focus on fluency and comprehension and ensure that children fully understand what they have read before progressing onto the next level. They are enjoying the competitive aspects of the quizzes and this has been a great motivator for reading in our school!
We also work hard to develop fluency and comprehension skills across the school, through daily guided reading, echo reading and a daily story time. We help our children to choose lots of great texts via our Reading Spines which we have displayed around school. We use the 5 Plagues of Reading spine to help teachers choose Readng for Pleasure books in class which stimulate and excite and challenge or children. Please have a look at these below.
Our Writing curriculum is based on high quality texts, carefully chosen to ensure children are exposed to aspirational vocabulary and enriching experiences and our Foundation Subject curriculum uses relevant reading material to enable our children to 'read to learn' and further develop historical and geographical concepts and knowledge.