Reception and Key Stage One:
The children begin the process of learning to read and write using Read Write Inc.
The children learn to:
- read accurately and fluently with good comprehension
- form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step
Firstly, they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend them into words. Then they learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They experience success from the very beginning. Reading books are closely matched to the children’s increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words. As children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. The children are encouraged to take home the phonics books they have been reading in school to practise and consolidate their reading and phonics skills.
During Read, Write Inc. lessons, the children are also taught to write letters and simple words early on and build on their success. They write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to write, and composing sentence by sentence, until they are confident enough to write independently. They use their knowledge of the alphabetic code and the ‘tricky’ words they have learnt. They practise handwriting every day: sitting at a table comfortably, learning correct letter formation and joining letters speedily and legibly. The children build up their spelling knowledge so they can spell complex words confidently. They use adventurous vocabulary in their writing because they have encountered such language in their reading and they have talked about what words mean.
Read, Write Inc. is taught daily throughout EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and KS1 (Key Stage 1). Children are grouped according to ability and taught by a trained adult. The children are assessed every half-term and groups are re-arranged to ensure they are always making progress relative to their ability. Any child falling behind is given intensive support to ensure they catch up as rapidly as possible.
In addition to Read, Write Inc. phonics, the children in EYFS and Y1 have a story and vocabulary session (Talk through Stories) each day which is designed to extend and deepen their vocabulary and understanding of language. Each story spans over two weeks. In the first week, the children get to know the story very well – the plot, the characters, and their actions and motives. In the second week, the vocabulary week, the children focus on eight words from the story. These are words that the children are unlikely to hear in everyday conversation but will come across in stories. Children’s understanding of each word is then developed in the context of their everyday lives.
The children in Y2, when they have completed the phonics programme, are taught reading through whole class shared reading in a similar way to KS2 (Key Stage 2).
Key Stage Two:
Read, Write Inc. continues into KS2 for those children who still need it and for those children who join our school in Y3-Y6 without the appropriate reading and writing skills. They are taught daily by a trained adult in the same way the EYFS and KS1 children are.
Whole class shared reading takes place every day in KS2 using Steps to Read. Steps to Read provides planning and resources through carefully crafted units of work which empower teachers to teach all aspects of word reading and comprehension through high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. The units also provide sound curriculum knowledge to support a variety of foundation subjects.
Children who are unable to access the whole class shared reading lessons due to limited understanding of English have a story/vocabulary session each day which is similar to the story/vocabulary session in EYFS and Y1.
We teach writing using ‘Read to Write’ which is an evidence-based teaching approach to writing. Teachers provide high-quality teaching of writing through high-quality literature. The texts are engaging, vocabulary-rich and provide a wealth of writing opportunities across all genres.
Six texts are studied over the course of the year i.e. one each half term. Three weeks each half-term are spent on narrative writing and three weeks are spent on non-fiction writing. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught in a contextualised way through each of the texts.
In addition to the teaching of spelling through writing, we also teach spelling discretely using Spelling Shed. As well as direct teaching, it provides a multi-sensory, game-based approach to the teaching and learning of spelling which can be accessed at home as well as school.
Handwriting is taught regularly to children using the handwriting principles of the Read, Write Inc. scheme.
‘Reception Class enjoyed their visit to Toxteth library. We spent time exploring the variety of books in the children’s library and then chose stories to read and listen to as a whole class.’
The whole school enjoyed a festive treat – we watched a production of Charlotte’s Web. We laughed at the funny parts and some of us cried at the sad parts but we all had a fantastic time.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Reception and Year 1 enjoyed a very special treat along with the children from Chatham Nursery. They watched a travelling theatre group perform Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It was very funny when Goldilocks sat on the little chair and broke it!
We are working with a local charity shop to provide our children and families with books they can take home and keep to read for pleasure as often as they want. The children enjoyed browsing and selecting their favourite books.
Thank you to Reception parents who attended our meeting about phonics and early reading. We talked about how parents can help their children at home and about the importance of reading to children at home. Parents were also introduced to Fred who only talks in sounds! Please do not hesitate to contact school if you have any questions about how you can help your children at home with their reading skills.