Early Reading and Phonics
Learning to read is the most important thing children will learn at our 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 as we know that our children's early formative years are crucial for acquiring both phonetic knowledge and skills to support them in becoming fluent readers.
We also want children to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. We aim to create a love of reading, by daily sharing high quality books with our children during our Rise and Read sessions and by reading to and with them, and by supporting our parents to make reading an enjoyable part of their daily routine.
Our books both reflect the community in which the children live and introduce them to lives different from their own. Children read widely across the curriculum, in all forms, including non-fiction books, magazines and newspapers and digital formats.
Read Write Inc & Phonics Teaching
At The Green we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with learning how to read. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to teach children language structure and pattern to become fluent readers.
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he, she or they will want to find out.
Using RWI, the children learn to read quickly following our whole school progression. Take a look at the breakdown below.
When using RWI to read the children will:
When using RWI to write the children will:
How do we teach reading in Reception?
Our teaching of phonics to the children in the Reception class is through learning to ‘read’ the sounds in words and seeing how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Please see the letter formation chart below.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
How do we assess and support children?
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Children will work with others who are at the same reading level. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Children will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up. In the summer term, we complete the phonics screening check with all Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress.
Why is my child bringing home 3 books?
Reading for Pleasure Book or a Library Book. Our children visit our school library twice weekly to choose their own book. The reason we give children an opportunity to choose their own is to develop opinions around front covers and subject matters.
A 'book bag book'. This book is matched to your child's phonetic ability (which sounds they already know) and is initially an unseen book. This book is to encourage your child to apply their phonetic skills to an unseen text.
A 'familiar' book. This book is one that your child worked with in school the previous week and has been used to teach them specific phonemes (sounds). If your child finds this book easy to decode and read-great! Discuss the characters, predict next steps for each character and read around the story. This supports their comprehension too.
Home Reading Expectations
Parent Guides and additional support