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Naunton Park
Primary School

Early Reading (phonics) ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Early reading and phonics

Naunton Park is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.

Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are chosen for reading to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and a love of reading.

EYFS

Pre-reading skills

Early reading and phonics information is shared with reception parents at the Curriculum Information Evening just before the children start full time in Term 1.  The reading diaries also contain tips and suggestions to help with reading.Children start with books that initially have no words. These stories are shared in school and the children are encouraged to use their storytelling language to tell the story without being reliant on written words on the page.  This gives them confidence and helps them to become more independent in having a try using other clues, such as picture clues.

We encourage children to:

  • look at and talk about the front cover
  • read the blurb on the back together so that they have an idea of what the story is about and an idea of some of the words in the text. 
  • discuss what words or sounds they can spot in the title
  • predict what the story might be about
  • what clues can you see in the pictures
  • look for familiar words or sounds first on a page

Once children are confident about using picture clues to ‘read’ the story and can recognise initial letter sounds from phase 2, they will be given reading books where they can segment and blend the letter shapes they can see to read the words on the page.

How do we teach reading in EYFS?

Reading starts by developing the observational skills of a child in a range of different contexts (looking for picture clues, what might it say if there were words on the page?).

Children are then encouraged to bring in things they can already read.  For example: logos, familiar words such as their name or family words (mum, dad).  This builds their self esteem by showing that they can already read words.

This continues by identifying words and sounds in their environment (phase 1 phonics) and making sure that they understand the differences between numbers, words, letters and pictures.

Alongside this, children are read to daily at school.  This is an opportunity to model how to handle a book, turn the pages, read from left to right, where do you start reading on the page, talk about the job of the title and the blurb, as well as modelling intonation and expression.  Familiar authors books are read, listened to on an audio version, acted out, explored through hot seating and character dress ups, re-enacted through small world resources and even sometimes sung. For example: Julia Donaldson.

Games and activities are played (such as I spy) to encourage children to identify the sound at beginning of words.  It is important that they can isolate and hear the sound at the beginning of a word before we expected them to recognise it in print. Children who are not making that relationship are not ready to learn to read. Interventions are provided to support this.

The children then begin formal phonics teaching.  The children are taught the initial letter sounds (phase 2 phonics).  Once s,a,t,p,i,n has been taught, we teach the children to word build using segmenting and blending strategies such as sound buttons, slinky, flashcards and clapping out the sounds.  The children practise word building with games such as full circle and loop cards.

We then look at rhyming words and  texts such as The Magic Pot, The Shark, The Snowman.  This introduces CVC words and builds on their ability to segment and blend regular words. This also helps to identify patterns in words and introduces alliteration, developing the ability to hear initial sounds in words.

Alongside this, children take home flashcard words that are ‘tricky / high frequency words’ that match the phonic phase they are currently working on.  These are words that are not phonetically decodable.  These words have to be learned by sight or by memory.  These are added to as and when the children have shown that they are fluent at recognising previously supplied words.  These words are also displayed in the classroom and children are encouraged to use them independently when reading and writing.

Tricky words and high frequency words are displayed in EYFS classrooms and sent home in a word mat format.

Children will take home 2 books during the week. They will take home a ‘I can read this book’ which is matched to the current phonic phase they are working on.  Words can either be segmented and blended in this book or may contain the odd tricky word that they will be working on in class and that should appear in their word tin.  Children are encouraged to re-read these books to develop fluency and to make sure that they understand what they have just read.

Children will also take home a free choice book labelled ‘we can read this together’.  This book will have some trickier higher frequency words or phonic sounds that they have not yet been taught.  The aim of this book is to be read for pleasure with the aid of an adult.

Members of staff will endeavour to hear children read their books as frequently as possible. Our daily phonics teaching is also an efficient and focused method of ‘teaching’ children to read. The sessions are integral to our curriculum and form a large part of the development of early reading skills and are an important start in their reading journey. ‘Hearing’ children read is seeing them use these skills in action.

Children who are identified as falling behind with developing phonics and reading skills are supported and listened to read more frequently by a trained member of school staff.

Oxford Owl and Phonics Bug e-book are also used as examples of texts presented in different ways.  This may be through a phonics lesson or as a class reader.

From the Spring term children are introduced to guided reading.  This happens in ability groups and books are selected to match this group’s needs. This is where children share and read aloud to each other the same text at an appropriate level together in a group.  This helps to develop the skills of listening to each other, the development of comprehension skills and discussions about the pictures and text. This is an opportunity for the teacher to hear every child read and target specific needs through questioning and discussion. We begin by reiterating book handling skills (which way up does the book go, turning pages, we read words left to right, pointing to words as we read them).

Once a week, children have the opportunity to meet their Year 6 buddy to read and share books together.  This might be their own reading book, a class book or a book from home.  Year 6 will also share their own writing from class activities with their buddy as the audience.

Each class has a class reader.  In EYFS this will be picture books linked to the Big Question or topic theme.

Year 1

How do we build upon the foundations put in place in EYFS?

We run a parents’ phonics information evening in Term 1  to recap and introduce the parents to phase 3 and phase 5 phonics and to provide tips for successful reading at home.

Individual reading

Children continue to be given decodable books that link with the current phonic phase and sounds they are learning (see EYFS above).

Children who are identified as falling behind with developing phonics and reading skills are supported and listened to read more frequently by a trained member of school staff.

Once children become fluent decoders and sight readers, they are encouraged to read a variety of genres and text styles in order to deepen their vocabulary knowledge.  This includes non-fiction and poetry. Reading comprehension skills to work on are shared with parents at Year 1 information evening and parents evening consultations (see Developing Reading Comprehension Skills document).

Alongside their phonics knowledge, we encourage children to use picture clues, make predictions and read for meaning to develop them into confident readers.

Year 1 Common Exception Words are displayed in Year 1 classrooms and a copy put into reading diaries.  These words are also taught throughout the year. Phonic phase sounds are regularly sent home in a word mat format.

Group (Guided) Reading

This happens in ability groups and books are selected to match this group’s needs. This is where children share and read aloud to each other the same text at an appropriate level together in a group.  This is a perfect opportunity for children to model their phonic segmenting and blending skills with each other. This helps to develop skills of listening to each other, the development of comprehension skills and discussions about the pictures and text. This is an opportunity for the teacher to hear every child read and target specific needs through questioning and discussion. We begin by reiterating book handling skills (which way up does the book go, turning pages, we read words left to right, pointing to words as we read them).  Tricky words and sounds are looked at and discussed before reading as a group. This is all done through peer and adult modelling.As children become more fluent, reading comprehension skills are developed.

Year 1 reading comprehension skills:

  • Listen to and discuss a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
  • With encouragement, link what they read or hear read to their own experiences
  • Become very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales; being able to retell key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales considering their particular characteristics
  • Recognise and join in with predictable phrases
  • Appreciate rhymes and poems and recite some by heart
  • Discuss word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known
  • Draw on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
  • Check that the text makes sense to them as they read and correct inaccurate reading
  • Discuss the significance of the title and events
  • Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
  • Predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • Participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • Explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them

Class Reading

Each class has a class reader. This is chosen from the Pie Corbett reading spine or Mister Bodd reading choices. It is a quality text that the majority of the class would not be able to access independently.  This allows the teacher to model reading skills but most importantly to read for pleasure.  These books are displayed on the classroom door.

Year 1 take part in reading challenges through the year.  This is designed to encourage more regular reading but also to encourage them to read different genres.

Oxford Owl and Phonics Bug e-book are used as examples of texts presented in different ways.  This may be through a phonics lesson or as a class reader.

Year 2

We run a Year 2 curriculum meeting in Term 1 for parents. During this evening reading expectations for Year 2 are shared with parents as well as at parent consultations.

Individual reading

Children who are reading books up to and including the orange band will continue to be given decodable books that link with the current phonic phase and sounds they are learning.  To support their reading, these children will revisit phonic phases 3 and 5. Children who are identified as falling behind with developing phonics and reading skills are supported and listened to read more frequently by a trained member of school staff.

The majority of children will become confident, fluent and more independent readers during Year 2. For the children who have reached this stage they will be focussing on developing their reading comprehension skills. Alternative book suggestions for greater depth readers are also shared with parents.

Year 2 reading comprehension skills:

  • Listen to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently
  • Discuss the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related
  • Become increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales
  • Be introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways
  • Recognise simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry
  • Discuss and clarify the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary
  • Discuss their favourite words and phrases
  • Continue to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear
  • Draw on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher
  • Check that the text makes sense to them as they read and correct inaccurate reading
  • Make inferences on the basis of what is being said and done
  • Answer and ask questions
  • Predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far
  • Participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say
  • Explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves

Group (Guided) Reading

Guided reading sessions have moved to twice weekly whole class reading sessions developing inference, vocabulary, sequencing, retrieving and predicting skills through the use of the Twinkl reading dogs ‘The Totally Pawsome Gang’ (Iggy Inference, Victor Vocabulary, Sequencing Suki, Rex Retriever and Predicting Pip). The first weekly session is a whole class reading lesson where the new skill is introduced and modelled.  The second session is delivered in groups and focuses on using a different text to practise the skills introduced earlier in the week.

Class Reading

Each class has a class reader. This is chosen from the Pie Corbett reading spine or Mister Bodd reading choices. It is a quality text that the majority of the class would not be able to access independently.  This allows the teacher to model reading skills but most importantly to read for pleasure.  These books are displayed on the classroom door.

Year 2 take part in reading challenges through the year.  This is designed to encourage more regular reading but also to encourage them to read different genres.

Oxford Owl and Phonics Bug e-book are used as examples of texts presented in different ways. 

Reading interventions in EYFS, Year 1 and  Year 2.

Children who are working towards will be assessed by class teacher to identify any gaps or difficulties they are having.  This will then inform the next steps.  This could include:

1:1 Bearing Away (revisiting initial letter sounds and phase 2)

1: 1 Dancing Bear (Year 2)

Beaky literacy intervention

Regular practise of ‘word tin’ words – high frequency, tricky words, Common Exception Words

Revising phonic phases in smaller groups

Frequent reading practise with a reading trained school adult

Using different book schemes such as Dandelion or Jelly and Bean to boost children’s confidence.

School adult chooses a book appropriate to the phonic phase they are working on

Discusses sounds or tricky words in the text.  Practices tricky words in the story on card or post it notes etc so that it can be linked back when the word appears in the text.

May look at the title, share the blurb and look through the book discussing with the child what is happening in the pictures before reading it.  This helps to build confidence, reading success and self-esteem.

Reading assessment

EYFS – is achieved  through regular phonics assessments and the teacher listening to children read individually or in guided reading groups.

Year 1 and Year 2 – most of our assessment is achieved by listening to children read, both individually and in guided reading groups, alongside regular phonics assessment.  To support this, we also carry out Salford assessment (3 times a year), Insight (3 times a year), NTS (3 times a year).