Teaching reading at Eastry CE Primary School
At Eastry Church of England Primary School we aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities, which will help them to:
Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
Read accurately, fluently and with understanding.
Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed.
Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence.
Develop good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
Read and respond to a wider range of different types of text.
Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy.
Read fluently and with confidence in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure a consistent and robust teaching of reading and phonics.
- At Eastry Church of England Primary School we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read, Write, Inc’ to teach letter sounds and sound blending for word reading, as well as spelling. Children are assessed termly and grouped according to their need.
- Children take part in daily Reading lessons, either as part of a Read, Write, Inc group or whole class reading lesson, where they are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking skills.
- The children will:
- Learn 44 sounds and corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- Learn to read words using ‘Fred’ talk and sound blending
- Read from a range of storybooks and non-fiction books matched to their developing phonic knowledge
- Read green words which are linked to the sounds they have been learning, read red words and challenge words to extend vocabulary. After children have practised these words individually they are prepared to see them in context in the story.
- Develop fluency skills
- Work well with partners/partner discussion
- Develop comprehension skills in stories by answering ‘Find it’ and ‘Prove it’ discussion questions.
We aim for Read Write Inc phonics to be redundant for the majority of our children by the end of the Autumn term in Year 2 where they will focus more on reading comprehension skills.
- During whole class reading lessons children are taught the skills of understanding what they read (comprehension) using Reading Vipers (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Sequence or Summarise) to ensure that all the key skills are covered.
- The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions.
- They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these, which allows for targeted questioning afterwards and deeper understanding of the various texts studied.
Here is a summary of the VIPERS domains:
Independent book reading is supported by the Accelerated Reader programme, which is designed to encourage independent reading at a child’s own level and pace. It is not a form of instruction; decoding and comprehension skills are teacher-led as part of the VIPERS approach.
- Accelerated Reader is a computer-based program that we can use to monitor reading practice and progress and encourage regular, daily engagement with a wide range of texts, that children can then select from to match their own interests.
- Accelerated Reader helps us to guide children to books that are on the children’s individual reading levels.
- Children take short quizzes after reading a book to check if they’ve understood it. (Children who may struggle with memory-oriented comprehension questions can be guided to skim read the texts again with the support of an adult).
- The books available to the children are all banded within zones that allow the children to move confidently within that zone before progressing to the next.
- This system ensures that children are choosing books that are at the appropriate level to develop their confidence and reading fluency, therefore reducing the incidences of children reading a couple of pages of a book and then returning it to the bookshelf because they cannot engage with it.
- Children are encouraged to read at home with an adult.
- Children are heard read daily by an adult during Read, Write Inc sessions and regularly across the week by staff members as well as adult volunteers.
- Each classroom has a reading area with books suitable for that age group.
- Classes have a range of texts linked to the topic the children are studying. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
- Children are read to daily by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child. The text may be linked to the class topic.
- Children are encouraged to use our well stocked library which will be run by Year 5 librarians.
Supporting struggling readers:
There are various ways in which we offer support to those children who are struggling to read confidently, or at the age-appropriate level:
- Continued Read Write Inc sessions (beyond the expected end of Autumn term in year 2)
- 1 to 1 adult support with daily reading to encourage fluency
- Intervention groups (approx. 1 to 5) with short focused texts, to support understanding and answering of VIPERS questions
- In-class support when engaging with whole-class readers
- Appropriately chosen texts to build reading fluency and confidence
- Coloured plastic overlays (reading rulers) to support dyslexic readers with visual clarity
- A selection of ‘dyslexia friendly’ texts with specific fonts and paper colour, to make text easier to read on the page
- Targeted questioning, at the individual child’s level, to build confidence and encourage engagement during reading of whole-class shared texts
All pupils will be able to read with accuracy, speed, confidence and fluency, understanding and enjoyment by the time they leave our school.
All pupils will appreciate the importance of books and how reading can enrich their lives, by providing a wealth of information, education and enjoyment.
Year 1 Phonics Check
At the end of Year 1 the children are assessed using a Government Statutory Assessment Tool known as the Phonics Screening Check. This screening check confirms whether the child has mastered sufficient phonic knowledge or whether further consolidation is required in Year 2. The children are assessed one to one by the class teacher. The children are asked to read a mixture or real and ‘alien’ nonsense words.
Nonsense words are used as part of this assessment as a measure of a child’s ability to use just the phonic sounds rather than being familiar with a real word.
It is made very clear to the child which word is a real word and which is a nonsense ‘alien’ word.
Our newly-updated school library will be open twice a week for children to borrow books and will be run by year 5 pupils with support from various members of our staff team.
Reading at home
Children will bring home numbered books (according to their stage of development) and will record these in their reading record. Fluent readers may choose a book from the classroom or school library. Please encourage your child to read at home as your support is incredibly important for developing their skills, understanding and confidence with reading. We try to encourage our beginner readers to read their book at least 3 times. This enables the child to develop their fluency and reading speed on a familiar text.
Ways to support your child's reading at home:
- Try to listen to and read with your child regularly. A few shorter sessions are better than one long one.
- If your child is reluctant try reading a page each.
- Find a quiet place to share books where you both feel comfortable and relaxed.
- Encourage your child to sound out words using their developing phonic skills and use the pictures in the book to help them.
- Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs, leaflets etc.
- Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.
Questions to Develop Understanding:
Where does the story take place?
Who are the characters in the story? Who is your favourite character? Why?
What happens in this part of the story?
How are the characters feeling? How do you know?
What was your favourite part of the story? Why?
What do you think is going to happen next?
What words does the author use to create a certain atmosphere?
Have you read other books by the same author?
Non Fiction Questions
How is this book different to a fiction book?
Which part of the text tells us about …?
Why are some words in bold?
How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this page?
What new information have you found out?
Read Write Inc.
Reading with your child in Early Years
Please find below some video's created by Miss Riggs, our Early Years (Reception) teacher, with some useful tips when reading with your child at home.