Reading and Phonics

Intent

At Bathford Church School our vision of ‘Grow, Care, Serve, Share’ frames our reading curriculum. Reading is at the heart of our school.

We help our children to grow by prioritising reading across the curriculum for every child because without reading children cannot learn to the full.   We aim to foster a love of reading and storytelling and for reading to inspire curiosity, wonder and imagination.  Through reading our pupils have the opportunity to grow culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.  Our curriculum teaches core reading strategies, both in word reading and in reading comprehension, through well planned and sequenced lessons which build on prior knowledge over time. The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Reciprocal teaching is used to develop reading comprehension.  This metacognitive approach encourages children to become reflective and self-directed learners as they think about their own thought processes during reading, are actively involved and monitor their comprehension as they read.

Through reading children develop empathy, and their care for one another, our shared community and the wider world. Through well-chosen and vocabulary rich texts, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, our reading curriculum aims to empower children with the powerful knowledge, skills and values that they need to make sense of the world and to serve as caring, responsible global citizens. 

Implementation

At Bathford Church School we aim to develop a love of reading.  Reading is prioritised to allow children to access the full curriculum.  We use a range of reading and phonic teaching resources to support children’s learning.

Phonics

Explicit phonics/spelling sessions are taught daily in each year group.  We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ systematic synthetic phonics phases. In Reception class, children use Jolly Phonics to learn their Phase 2 and 3 sounds. In Year 1 and Year 2 we use Pearson’s Phonics Bug, in combination with a range of other supporting resources. KS2 children are taught the No Nonsense Spelling Programme.

Intervention

We use the Sound Discovery phonics programme as an intervention to support children who have been identified as needing additional help to secure their phonics knowledge.  This intervention takes place with children from the summer term of Reception class and upwards.  We also use other intervention programmes such as Beat Dyslexia, Nessy and Phonological Awareness Training and other tools such as reciprocal reading and highlighted paired reading.

Reading

Individual reading, guided reading or whole class taught guided reading takes place daily across the school. Reciprocal reading strategies are used to develop reading comprehension.  This metacognitive approach encourages children to become reflective and self-directed learners as they think about their own thought processes during reading, are actively involved and monitor their comprehension as they read. There is regular time set aside in class for reading for pleasure as well as for ‘book talk’ where children have the opportunity to talk about books.  Teachers share class books from a wide range of genres and each classroom has a reading area. Writing is taught through quality key texts and many topics are based around a book, for example ‘Wonder’ in Year 6.

Parents

We encourage parents to hear their child read/share a book for at least 20 minutes per day at home. Parents sign their child’s reading diary and this is checked regularly by a member of staff. As the children reach upper key stage 2 they may read silently and record their own progress in their reading diary.  We use reading books from a number of different schemes (including the Oxford Reading Tree) and these books are given a coloured sticker according to their book band.  Books which are fully decodable have square stickers, whilst other books have circular stickers. We assess children’s level of comprehension and decoding to set an initial banding and children choose books to take home from the book bands until they have progressed through the bands to become ‘guided readers.’ Then, with support from an adult, children are able to choose books from the classroom library which include a range of genres.  All children also have access to a well-stocked reference library.  In addition, we operate a book exchange box for children.

Love of Reading

We try to create a buzz about reading through initiatives such as our ‘Reading in the Community’ project where our children read stories to young children at our local church toddler group and local pre-school.  In Year 6 children are paired with a Year R child, Year 5 children with a Year 1 child and twice a week the older children listen to the younger children read. We also encourage members of our local community to come in and hear children read individually. Children are given the opportunity to attend reading related after-school clubs, such as the ‘Book shadowing award club’ for the Carnegie/Greenaway award season or ‘Adventures in Bookland.’  Yr 4/5/6 children also have the opportunity to visit the library van every other week.

Impact

Our children will be confident, fluent readers who enjoy reading and are able to articulate what makes a good reader.  Our children will be able to explain how their reading has helped them to grow and develop empathy.  Ongoing assessment of both word reading and reading comprehension will ensure that children make progress, with closely monitored intervention put quickly in place to support children who begin to fall behind.  Through our reading curriculum, our children will be empowered with the powerful knowledge, skills and values that they need to make sense of the world and to serve as caring, responsible global citizens

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