How we teach reading
At Edmondsley Primary School we want our children to be fluent, confident and passionate readers. Reading enables your child to become an independent life-long learner.
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books, as well as learning to read.
At Edmondsley Primary and Nursery School we use the Department for Education’s accredited ‘Read Write Inc. Phonics’ programme.
We start to learn to read by teaching phonics to children in Nursery, who are developmentally ready – usually in the summer term before they start Reception Class. Prior to this programme, our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum includes activities which help children prepare them for reading (and writing).
What is Read, Write, Inc?
Read, Write, Inc Phonics programme is a synthetic phonics programme that teaches children the sounds in English, the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters when writing. Read Write Inc. Phonics includes reading books written using only the letters they have learnt at each level (and a small number of separately taught tricky words such as ‘said’ and ‘the’). The children quickly feel confident and successful.
A brief overview
- When appropriate, adults will model the sounds letters make whilst writing children’s names on their paintings/pictures etc.
- Usually in the summer term, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short sessions and learn how to write the letters using rhymes to help them.
- Children will learn how to read the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.
- Children will learn the 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts (See below)
- Words are read using Fred Talk and sound blending
- Children read a range of storybooks and non fiction books matched to their phonic knowledge.
Year 1 and 2
Children will learn to read complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics take place.
Even before your child starts to read, we encourage Nursery family members to choose books from our Nursery ‘library’ and from Reception class we send home ‘reading for pleasure’ books. These books are for parents to read and enjoy with their children, talking about pictures and the stories. We continue to send these books home throughout your child’s journey through school to foster the love of reading and encourage the children to choose books they are interested in.
Teachers regularly read to the children, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.
How is RWI organised at Edmondsley Primary School?
RWI sessions in nursery are short and usually take place in the summer term before children begin Reception Class. Very small groups of children take part in a session at the same time.
From Reception until the end of Year 2, your child will work with children who are at the same reading level. This is so that the teaching can be focused on the correct stage of their learning rather than their chronological age. This also means they are in small groups with a lower child to adult ratio. Some older children will continue to access the Read Write Inc. Phonics programmes if they need further consolidation and development of reading skills.
We assess children’s reading skills each half term so we can ensure they are in the most appropriate group. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress or may have one-to-one tutoring if we think they need some additional support.
In Key Stage 2 (years 3, 4, 5 and 6), the children undertake daily reading lessons (lasting 30 minutes). Three of these lessons are led by a teacher focusing on understanding and comprehension whilst two use the Reading Plus programme to build fluency and speed of reading. The children have a wide selection of reading materials to choose from and take part in projects linked to reading, with reward systems in place for encouragement.
How long will it take to learn to read well?
Every child is different and children will learn to read at different speeds. By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age and the children will have a good understanding of the story.
In the summer term of Year 1, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the children. We will let you know how your child has done in the end of year reports. Children who do not pass the phonics check in Year 1 retake the assessment during Year 2 to ensure that they have made progress. We will also inform you of these results.
What does school offer to give my child reading incentives?
Once your child has completed the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, classes read shared texts where reading and writing combine, providing children with a deeper understanding of texts. Books are carefully chosen to meet the needs and interests of the cohort as well as keeping in line with National Curriculum guidelines. Texts used often link into our wider curriculum, with history, geography and social themes proving to be particularly popular with our pupils.
Children’s progression through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme and subsequently the reading schemes is rewarded and celebrated through certificates. Though the gift of being able to read is reward in itself!
In school, the children have access to a wide range of books both to improve and build reading as well as for reading for pleasure. School have made a significant investment in a range of books to encourage your child to read texts suited to their own personal interests. Book schemes include: Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat but we primarily use Oxford Owl books which complement our Read Write Inc scheme. Children are encouraged to read at least three times a week at home.
What can parents/carers do to help?
Nursery parents can use the rhymes which help their child to form the letters of their name correctly. Our Nursery Teacher will provide information on this as soon as your child is showing an interest in writing their name.
- RWI Red Words progression chart
- RWI Parent Booklet 1 English
- RWI Parent Booklet 2 English
- RWI Parent Booklet 1 Malayalam
- RWI Parent Booklet 2 Malayalam
- Phonics screening check: information for parents – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Writing at Edmondsley Primary School
The importance of talk, including opportunities for role play, retelling stories, reciting poetry, debate and performance, is critical to developing children’s vocabulary and language. If children can say it, then they will have greater understanding when they read it and be more able to write it. It is vital that children are given the opportunity to articulate what they want to say before they begin to write it.
Writing in KS1
In KS1, children are given the opportunity to write daily within their Read, Write, Inc. sessions. Children will also take part in discrete spelling and grammar sessions and complete a creative writing session weekly. Children will learn to write for a variety of purposes; writing to inform and to entertain. This will include writing letters, recounts, instructions, stories, descriptions and poetry.
Writing in KS2
In KS2, we have a two-weekly writing cycle to ensure children have the opportunity to explore writing styles, develop the skills needed to be successful writers, plan, write, redraft and publish work. Grammar, punctuation and spelling will be taught within daily English lessons to ensure that writing skills are being developed as well as writing styles.
A variety of writing genre are taught across a school year and revisited to ensure that the children experience a range of writing regularly. Children will continue to develop their ability to write for a range of purposes: writing to inform, entertain, persuade and discuss. This will include writing genres developed within KS1 as well as news reports, balanced arguments, reviews, speeches, advertisement, reports, biographies and narratives.
Through class novel studies, the children are exposed to different writing styles and devices. Writing is linked to high quality class texts that have been carefully selected and allocated to each class on a one text per half-term basis. This writing is developmental throughout the school and children are taught the different organisational features along with sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation.
Opportunities for writing are also created across the curriculum to ensure that skills taught are applied in other subjects.
Children learn pre-requisite skills for writing in our Nursery Class. Please view the EYFS curriculum page for further information.