Reading

Reading at Brown’s C of E Primary School

 

The context of our school

Brown’s C of E Primary School is a small school with approximately 94 pupils across 4 mixed age classes. We are an inclusive school and welcoming to children of all abilities and backgrounds. Our school vision, which drives all that we do, ensures that we remain committed to ensuring that all children can and do achieve, in an environment which is supportive of every individual as a unique child of God. It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background.

 

Read Write Inc. Phonics

The programme is for:

• Pupils in Year R to Year 2 who are learning to read and write

• Any pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch up rapidly

 

In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

• Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic

knowledge and skills

• Read common exception words on sight

• Understand what they read

• Read aloud with fluency and expression

• Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar

• Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words

• Acquire good handwriting.

 

In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they

are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on

difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code

knowledge.

 

We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing.

This is because it is known that pupils’ progress in writing will lag behind progress in reading,

especially for those whose motor skills are less well developed.

 

In Year R we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or

groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly.

This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated

daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings –

common exception words.

 

We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of

phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and

gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher

supports their increasingly fluent decoding.

Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are

soon able to read these texts for themselves.

Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and

sentences. We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write

independently. We make sure they write every day.

Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge. The quality of the vocabulary they use in their

writing reflects the language they have heard in the books the teacher has read to them; they have

also discussed what the words mean.

 

Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they

complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and

comprehension level. As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words as they read.

 

At Brown’s C of E Primary School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

 

Pupils are taught to articulate their thoughts and ideas out loud and to communicate what they

know and understand. Pupils answer every question with a partner, comment on each other’s

ideas, clarify each other’s thinking, and build upon each other’s thoughts and ideas. The teacher

asks questions to take their thinking further and clears up any misconceptions. Partner discussion

helps teachers assess what and how pupils are learning throughout the lesson.

Teachers also read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils. Pupils are encouraged

to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.

 

Pupils who are making slower progress usually complete the programme by the end of Year

2.  We support pupils who have identified special educational needs for however long it takes until

they can read. For example, we identify those who are at risk of falling behind their peers

immediately – whatever their age. Highly trained staff tutor them for 15 minutes every day, using

the Read Write Inc. One-to-one tutoring programme. If a child arrives in Key Stage 2 reading below

their chronological age or with English as an additional language they are taught Read Write Inc.

Phonics until they too catch up with their peers.

 

By the end of Key Stage 1, our pupils can read aloud age-appropriate texts accurately and

with sufficient speed for comprehension. This means that we can focus on developing their

comprehension, preparing them well for transition to Key Stage 2. Their good decoding skills mean

that they have a sound strategy for decoding unfamiliar words when they come across them at

whatever stage or in any subject, even into secondary school.

 

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment

The programmes’ ‘cycle of instruction’ means that, after direct instruction and guided practice, the

pupils teach another pupil. In this way they all rehearse and consolidate what they have been

learning. This helps the pupils to make their understanding clear to themselves and helps the teacher

deal with any misconceptions. ‘Partner teaching’ is a key assessment tool. We also use this approach

very effectively in other subjects.

 

In Read Write Inc. Phonics, because the pupils are grouped across the school in terms of their reading

ability, they are reading at an appropriate decoding level every day. The homogeneous groups in the

Phonic lessons help us to focus the teaching and ensure pupils learn to read quickly.

 

Staff teaching Read Write Inc. Phonics record the results from the Assessments 1 and 2, which take

place every eight weeks. This data allow us to intervene in different ways. For instance, we quickly

move pupils to another group if they are progressing faster than their peers. Those who continue to

struggle have one-to-one tutoring so that they keep up.

 

All the pupils are engaged, with a positive impact on their behaviour. They learn to participate fully:

we agree with them the rules for working in a group or discussing with a partner. We discourage

‘hands up’ for answering questions because we believe that all pupils should answer every question.

The teacher selects pupils to answer.

The Read Write Inc. programmes have detailed lesson plans. These give the teachers practical day-today guidance, but we work hard to build on these plans so that the lessons are matched carefully to

the needs of their particular group. Every activity is prepared thoroughly and has a clear purpose.

The teacher explains this at the beginning so that the pupils understand, during the activity, what

they are learning and why.

 

Additional support for lower-attaining pupils learning to read

Pupils in the ‘lowest’ attaining group have the widest variety of needs. This is therefore the least

homogeneous group. In order to give these pupils the same carefully targeted teaching as all the

other groups, some of these pupils have daily one-to-one tutoring for 10 to 20 minutes, in addition to

their group session in the morning. This tutoring helps us to meet their individual needs. Once these

pupils have learnt to read they will receive additional support when learning to spell.

 

Feedback and marking

We emphasise constructive feedback. For example, we praise pupils for how hard they work together to ensure that their learning is successful.

We have clear systems for marking pupils’ work. Pupils know their teacher’s expectations for each

activity. We mark short activities with the pupils in the lesson. Extended pieces are marked

afterwards. We discuss the outcomes with the group and individuals so that the marking is genuinely

used to take forward pupils’ learning.

 

See Guidance for marking writing in Read Write Inc. Phonics lessons

http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/guidance-for-marking-writing-in-read-write-inc- phoniclessons/

Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Pupils have very positive attitudes to the programme. Their good behaviour and the virtual absence

of low-level disruption in lessons contribute to the progress they make. We support this behaviour by using silent signals for gaining their attention, for setting up partner routines, and for managing the way pupils move around the classroom. Everyone uses the same signals. The teachers are

encouraged to use these strategies in other lessons, too, so that the approach to behaviour is

consistent throughout the day.

 

We believe that the partner work and the homogeneous groupings organised to teach Read Write

Inc. Phonics, help the pupils learn to work together. Effective partner work has the benefit of helping

pupils to work closely with others – especially those who are not their best friends. Quick bonding

activities help new partners to get to know one another. Boys and girls, first and second language

learners, assertive and reticent pupils, and pupils of different ages learn to get on together. Potential

bullying is explored and discussed so pupils know how this can develop and how to deal with it if it

does.

Pupils are taught the manners and behaviour that are necessary to work with adults and other

pupils. Adults are expected to demonstrate positive attitudes and good manners, and to act as role

models for pupils.

Praise for hard work and good behaviour is fundamental to pupils’ progress. The values of courtesy,

consideration and kindness are at the heart of every lesson, taught through the programme and

embedded in other lessons. All the staff use the same positive strategies for behaviour management

across the school. Working well together, as part of a team, is at the core of the school’s work – for

staff and pupils.

Professional development

 

A key element of Read Write Inc. is consistent whole-school practice, underpinned by appropriate

professional development. The headteacher, all the teachers and teaching assistants are trained to

teach reading. All staff have attended two-day Phonics training and the trainer has returned to

support us on subsequent development days. We hold at least two Development Days every year to

ensure we are aware of up-to-date practice.

In weekly masterclasses staff analyse teaching and behaviour steps that set the agenda for the

Next observation and feedback schedule.

 

Ensuring reading for pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

 

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

 

We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Brown’s C of E Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures. We consistently use high quality texts, often linked to the current learning. These texts demonstrate aspirational language and grammatical structure; texts to inspire and enthuse; texts with themes which help the children develop and promote the school’s values as well as ensuring their personal, social, spiritual and emotional needs are met.

 

  • Every classroom has an inviting reading area that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
  • Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
  • As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
  • The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (author visits and workshops, book fairs and national events such as World Book Day etc).

 

Reading Books

  • Through our English and wider curriculum, we strive to develop a culture of reading through consistently using high quality texts, often linked to the Unit of Learning, that demonstrate aspirational language and grammatical structure; a variety of texts that inspire and enthuse children; texts with themes that help our children to develop and promote the school’s values as well as ensuring their personal, social, spiritual and emotion needs are met and where children are able to progress and reach their full potential.
  • Pupils in Early Years and Key Stage One are taught to read daily within phonics lessons and all our pupils are taught explicit reading strategies and skills through our whole class sessions, allowing all our children to access more challenging texts and answer complex questions.
  • In each of our classroom environments, reading areas are created as a stimulating and exciting space to develop the delight of reading.
  • As part of every school day, adults read a class book aloud to the children to further promote a love for reading and exposure to high quality texts.
  • In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author visits, Book Fairs and sponsored reading events to further enrich our English curriculum.
  • To ensure we are reading high quality texts, we refer to a variety of recommended booklists, namely, CLPE Core Booklist, Pie Corbett Reading Spines and Book Award winners list (CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals; FCBG Children’s Book Award; Waterstone’s).
  • Pupils’ home-school books are closely matched to their phonic ability; pupils are able to enjoy books at both school and at home whilst applying their phonics to decode accurately.

 

 

Our phonics scheme of choice is RWI Phonics. Please follow the link below for more information.

Phonics Progression Documents