Reading and Phonics Statement for Key Stage 1
Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1 and KS2 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. At Westgate it is our aim to provide children with the skills necessary to be able to read confidently and to be able to access information throughout the curriculum.
The Phonics Programme
Children are given daily opportunities to develop their reading skills. In Nursery, pupils begin to develop their listening skills and to discriminate between sounds, recognising rhythm, rhyme and alliteration. They develop oral blending and segmenting of sounds in words. In Reception and KS1, children learn to read following the Letters and Sounds programme. The following conceptual knowledge is taught:
- Letters are symbols(spellings) that represent sounds.
- A sound may be represented or spelled by 1,2,3 or 4 letter eg dog , street, night, dough.
- The same sound may be spelled in more than one way (one sound-different spellings) eg rain, break, gate, stay.
- Many spellings can represent more than one sound (one spelling- different sounds) eg head, seat, break.
They develop the skills of blending (combining sounds together to build words), segmenting (breaking up a word into individual sounds) and manipulating sounds to read and spell words correctly. This is carried out daily in Reception and Year 1 and is supported by Jolly Phonics. In Year 2 the Letters and Sounds programme is continued and the rules and concepts of spelling are introduced. Pupils who require further support in phonics in KS2 continue with dedicated phonics sessions.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. Children are formatively assessed regularly and this is used to inform planning.
The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. Due to Covid 19 our current Year 2 pupils will undertake the Phonics Screening Test in December 2020. Prior to this, the Year 1 phonics workshop gives parents information about how they can support their children at home with phonics. 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.
At Westgate Primary School children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading.
Children read in school independently, in guided groups, with reading buddies, and as a shared class session. They listen to adults and other children read, taking part in paired reading with their own and other age groups.
Our Reading aims are:
- To promote reading for pleasure.
- To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
- To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately and fluently.
- To broaden their vocabulary.
- To develop comprehension skills, and enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
- To encourage good home/school partnerships.
- To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies eg NFER reading tests, on-going reading observations, of our statements on the Insight tracking system.
- To support those children who require additional support with their reading.
Reading in School
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. For example, children might be introduced to stories and allowed to orally compose a story which is acted out by themselves and their peers.
Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book with no words 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.
We have a number of Big Cat phonics books available which are fully phonetically decodable. Our reading books are then organised into coloured Book Bands. Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next ‘Book Band’ when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. Children move through the Book Bands until they reach the required standard to become a Free-Reader, choosing a book to read from our well-stocked school or class libraries. In addition to a personalised reading book children are able to take a book home from the school library. In KS2 there is a greater emphasis on comprehension with most children decoding easily.
Developing Reading for Pleasure
We try to encourage a love of reading by holding book themed days and events both as individual classes and across the whole school e.g. World Book Day. Each class teacher reads to their class on a regularly basis. Reading assemblies take place regularly, introducing children to a variety of literature. 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!
Our well-stocked school library promotes authors and a range of reading material to appeal to all pupils. Children's suggestions for new books are encouraged and purchased.
Assessment of Reading
Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system. In addition, children in the Key Stage 1 are assessed using the YARC reading test to check progress in reading age relative to their chronological age. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.