It is extremely important that children read aloud to an adult regularly to support them learning to read. We encourage parents to listen to their children read at home and we also give high priority to children reading aloud to an adult in school.
How often children read to an adult in school depends on the stage of reading they are at:
- In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 all children read individually to an adult 3 times per week.
- In Years 3 to 6 all children read individually to an adult at least once per week.
- A small number of children in each class read individually to an adult every day. These are children who need some extra support with their reading to ensure that they don’t fall behind.
We ensure that individual reading is given priority and always takes place regardless of other events happening in school. When a member of staff is absent, support staff will be redeployed from other classes to ensure that individual reading still happens.
When adults listen to children read they will make a short note in the child’s planner and will write a more detailed comment in the child’s reading record which is kept in school. Comments will be based on children’s decoding, fluency and/or comprehension skills.
Decodable Books for Early Readers
For our early readers, books are organised according to the phases of Letters and Sounds. The documents below show how we have organised our reading books for children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Children are assessed regularly on their phonics understanding and this determines which colour band of books they read.
In Key Stage 2 we use Accelerated Reader to ensure reading books are appropriately matched to the children's reading. Children take a short test which determines which levels of Accelerated Reader books that they read.
After every book that they've read the children complete a quiz on the computer about the book that they've read before moving onto their next book. This checks their understanding, provides assessment data for the teacher and also earns them points that they can collect as rewards.
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write by developing their phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate different sounds used in the English language. Children learn the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.
We use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics. All children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have a daily 45 minutes phonics lesson. 30 minutes of this is spent teaching phonemes and 15 minutes of it is spent focusing on tricky words. The sessions follow the structure of revising previously taught sounds, teaching a new sound, practising the new sound and applying it into the context of a sentence.
The Phonics Screening Check
During the Summer term in Year 1, children nationwide are tested on their phonic knowledge. This test helps us to identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need further support in Year 2. Children read a list of 40 words, some real words and some nonsense words, and the test takes place with their class teacher who aims to make it low key and not something for the children to worry about.
We follow the Destination Reader approach for teaching reading. In Key Stage 2 every class has a daily 45 minute reading lesson at the start of each day. Each week there is a focused reading strategy and over the course of the week there is an introduction to the strategy, modelled examples, opportunities to practise the strategy and guided reading. The lessons are focused around a text.
In Key Stage 1 every class has two 30 minute reading lessons a week focusing on comprehension skills. These lessons are in addition to the daily 45 minutes phonics lessons.
Every class has a 15 minute class story at the end of each day, with Foundation Stage have two sessions of class story each day.