Daily synthetic phonics sessions provide the children with the skills that they need to become fluent readers. Once they are more fluent and able to decode well, children are able to comprehend what they are reading more easily. This understanding allows them to access the curriculum with more enjoyment and with ease. Shared and guided reading sessions enable the children to be taught the range of skills that are required in order to be a successful and effective reader. At Rolleston, we endeavour to develop the children’s word reading and comprehension skills so that they are able to read at an age-appropriate level and access reading that is required across the curriculum. We aim for our children to foster a love of reading through access to high quality texts (that are read both by and to them). It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly in order to increase their fluency and reading stamina, leading to a greater enjoyment of reading.
At Rolleston the systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. We use the ALS programme which focuses on quality first teaching of phonics, early reading and early writing. Most of our staff have had the training to ensure consistency of message. All children in Foundation Stage, KS1 and, where necessary, KS2 have daily phonics sessions where they participate in segmenting, blending, reading and writing words and sentences. The teachers draw upon observations and assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Interventions are planned for the children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.
Children take part in daily guided reading lessons where they practice and consolidate effective reading strategies. During these lessons, children’s reading is developed using high quality texts and focused skill teaching.
Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are given a phonetically decodable book selected by an adult to take home which matches their current phonics level. Reading books are changed frequently. Children are also encouraged to select an additional book to share with their family at home. Children in Key Stage 2 select their own home reading book using ‘the five finger test’. This method supports our children in choosing a book within their book band that is just right for them.
Reading at home is encouraged and prompted through incentives. Teachers select a reading champion at the end of every half term to choose a book from our book vending machine. The child that is chosen would have demonstrated a love of reading and a keenness to explore a range of texts. Children have a reading record to make a log of the book or pages they have read. We expect family members to read with their child at home and write a comment in their reading record. Teachers also use the reading record as a tool for communication about their child’s reading progress.
If pupils are not reaching age-appropriate milestones in reading or are new to English (providing they have the appropriate phonetic knowledge and meet the set of specified criteria) then the school uses both the Better Read Write Partnership (BRWP) and Reading Recovery to accelerate pupil’s progress.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, children become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. As a year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are competent, confident readers with a strong love for reading. Children will have explored a wide range of genres during their time at Rolleston and will be able to recommend books to their peers and engage in discussions about books.
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