Reading and Phonics
At Brockwell Nursey and Infant School we aim to foster a love of literature and language. We want the children to become avid readers throughout their lives. We are a reading-rich school and quality texts are the bedrock of our practice. We want all children to develop a life-long love of reading and to be competent, confident readers who access and enjoy a diverse range of genres. Children are supported to read regularly throughout the day through all subjects and are taught not only to decode text but also to interpret and understand it.
All topics are based around quality core texts which feed into the children’s writing. In English lessons, ambitious core texts are read and analysed as a class and used as a stimulus to structure and inspire writing.
In our reading-rich environment, children listen to and read books every day. Children also enjoy at least one story-based assembly each week, using high quality and often thought-provoking texts which develop their empathy, thinking and inference skills further.
Every classroom has a well-stocked, inviting and cosy reading area. These contain both fiction, non-fiction texts and poetry which reflect the topics we teach.
Every classroom has reading displays, which include phonics, spelling, vocabulary and reading prompts. These support, promote and enhance reading further. Such displays and those in our communal areas also celebrate our love of reading and reflect our passionate belief that reading is at the heart of our curriculum.
In addition to our daily reading, we have a yearly Book Week, we take part in World Book Day events, reading competitions, author visits, shared reading sessions with wider family and as many events as we can to promote a sense of wonder and delight in reading.
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write. It is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme). We teach children to apply phonic knowledge as a first approach to reading.
At Brockwell Nursery and Infant School, we believe all our children can become fluent readers which is why we teach phonics and reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. This is a systematic synthetic programme of phonics (SSP) that adheres to the essential core criteria outlined in the DFE’s Phonics Programme validation documentation.
Phonics teaches children the sound each letter, or group of letters, represents and is the first step in children learning how to read. Children will begin to recognise letters, or groups of letters, and the sounds they make, which they then use to blend sounds together for reading, and segment them when writing. The children are taught to hear, identify and spell 44 sounds in the British language. At its earliest stage, children are taught one way to read and spell each sound and in KS1 this broadens out to include more complex spelling patterns.
Please find the link below to the Little Wandle website for information for parents/carers to show how we are teaching Little Wandle in our school. The resources on this page will help you support your child with saying their sounds and writing their letters. There are also some useful videos so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting your child at home. The page also includes the full Reception and Year One teaching programme overview to see what your child will learn and when.
Children’s progress through the phonic phases is tracked in detail. Children are assessed at the end of each phonics phase and this assessment is used by class teachers and Reading Leaders to closely monitor children’s progress and target in-class support and out-of-class interventions.
Phonics interventions are tailored and targeted according to individual need and children are identified through close monitoring and our assessment system. Teachers and Teaching Assistants work with small groups throughout each year to boost progress and to extend children’s learning.
We are very excited to share with you our new reading approach that runs alongside our Little Wandle phonics program.
Across school, while children are developing their phonics skills, in addition to our daily Little Wandle phonics sessions, each child will take part in up to three reading practice sessions using fully decodable books which are exactly matched to the phonics scheme.
Children will be reading in small groups and will read the same book up to three times with adults in school to develop reading strategies, fluency and understanding.
During the reading sessions in school, we will focus on:
- Prosody - reading with rhythm, stress and intonation
Once your child has finished reading the book in school, we will either send the book home in their book bag and provide you with a link to an e-book version of the text which you can then access online. Reading the book at home will be an opportunity for your child to share what they have been learning and ‘show off’ their reading skills.
All e-books will be available in the Collins Big Cat e-book library. Parents are given details of how to access e-books. If you have any problems accessing the Collins Big Cat e-book library for any reason, please let your child’s class teacher know and we will support you with this.
The book we will be sending home is one of a set that we now use to teach in the small group read. If books are sent home, it is really important that they are returned by the following Monday so that we are able to use the sets for teaching reading in school. If there is a reason you are not able to return the book, please talk to your class teacher. Supporting your child with reading is crucial to their success. Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
Children’s progress through reading is tracked in detail. Children are assessed regularly and this assessment is used by class teachers and Reading Leaders to closely monitor children’s progress and target in-class support and out-of-class interventions.
Reading interventions are tailored and targeted according to individual need and children are identified through close monitoring and our assessment system. Teachers and Teaching Assistants work with small groups throughout each year to boost progress and to extend children’s learning.
When your child has completed the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Scheme they will read graded books that do not solely rely on phonics.
Your child will bring home two different books each week:
- The reading practice book they have been reading in class. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child.
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If they are reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.
Please listen to your child read this book at home as often as you can – at least once a day if possible. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
- A Love to Read Book (Little Wandle refers to these as Sharing Books). Your child will choose this book from their class book corner. They may not necessarily be able to read this on their own but the book is for you both to read and enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this book. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters; explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun! Remember, children are never too old to be read to! If you would like some suggestions of high quality texts to share with your child, please click here.
In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure.
Reading Record Books will still be sent home as usual. Please continue to write down the name of any books that they are reading for practice or pleasure at home. We would also love to hear about any books that you are reading to them.
As with Phonics, to find out more about how we teach reading at school and how you can support at home, please visit the Little Wandle website.
Support at Home
To give your child the best chance of becoming a fluent and confident reader we need to work in partnership with you. Daily practise of phonics and reading at home, supports the teaching that goes on in school and will enable your child to make the best possible progress. There is a wealth of information on the the Little Wandle website which you can access via the link/QR code above. Remember this link/QR Code will always be available and it is worth revisiting it as your child continues to progress with their phonics and reading.
There is further information in 'A guide to reading at our school' which you will have received. This reinforces the information above as does the contents of your child's Reading Record Book. At the beginning of each academic year we hold Reading Meetings for Parents/Carers. In addition to this, school staff are always available to answer any questions you may have.
Together we will ensure that your child will develop a life-long love of reading and be a competent, confident reader.