Phonics at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School
Intent – why we teach what we teach
At St Wilfrid’s, we value reading as a key life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. Evidence suggests that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Through reading, children also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better cultural understanding. The skill of reading helps pupils to participate fully as a member of society. We therefore intend:
- for children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers
- to develop children’s confidence to read a wide variety of genres and text types
- for children to have the skills needed to decode words so that they are able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read.
- for children to develop appropriate reading skills such as inference, skimming and scanning and summarising.
- to encourage a love of literature and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure
- for children to be given the opportunity to enjoy and engage with books from a range of authors and genres
- to use reading to provoke thought within children.
- for children to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually socially and spiritually as a result of the reading they are experiencing.
- for children to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading.
- to develop children’s appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage
- to enable children to use discussion about texts in order to learn: they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
Implementation – how we teach what we teach:
Our reading and phonics curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to provide a welcoming environment (Belonging) in which everybody is cherished and challenged (Believing) to fulfil their potential (Becoming). We are committed to enabling all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish, and to become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. We have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading throughout the school, from Nursery and up to Year 6. In Nursery, the children are exposed to concept about print lessons, where the children are taught explicitly, direction of text, what a title is, what an author is, how to gain information from a text. In Reception and Key Stage One, children undertake daily literacy and phonics inputs whereby they are provided with the opportunity to apply previously taught skills in both high quality reading and writing opportunities.
From Key Stage One, we use a skills based approach to teaching of reading using VIPERS skills within regular Guided Reading lessons. (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise). In our school, our reading curriculum links closely with our writing curriculum; we use a text-based approach that enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within English and reading lessons.
In the early years, Year 1 and into Year 2, there is a huge emphasis on phonics (Letters and Sounds); this is then applied throughout the rest of the school to consolidate what has been learnt. Within daily phonic sessions, children have the opportunity to revisit previous learning and practise and apply new skills in structured but engaging ways.
We encourage reading for pleasure through providing children with a choice of challenging and enriching texts as well as building in time for children to read independently, and as part of a whole class. All children have daily opportunities to read a variety of material in school, including regularly with an adult. We are very lucky to have a wide range of reading books in our school - from classroom reading areas to the well-stocked library. All children from Nursery to Year 6 choose at least one reading book to take home and this reading book is changed weekly. Children are read to regularly by their class teacher. Therefore reading skills and enjoyment of text is modelled and shared. We also have a vast reading scheme consisting of levelled books which match the children’s current reading ability.
Impact – how we measure what we teach
The impact of this reading and phonics curriculum is that children will be literate, their lives will be enriched and they will be inspired to further explore the world of books and the creative and informative opportunities that this offers. The children’s learning journey in reading is assessed each half term using the current assessment framework and reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year. The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at St Wilfrid's CE Primary.
Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.