Our Approach to Teaching Phonics and Reading
Reading is an essential life skill and we strongly believe that the children of Park View should leave us as competent and fluent readers. Reading is a key that unlocks the world of the imagination, giving children the skill to step into the wonderful world of stories or to immerse themselves into a topic or theme which interests them. Reading is not just about books, it is also about accessing a wide range of text based material from our ever changing digital world.
In order to give the children a sound start on their reading journey, we have a systematic approach to teaching phonics. This journey begins in our nursery class where the children first experience 'Read Write Inc.' sessions. Read Write Inc. is a very structured programme which introduces reading in a systematic and multi-sensory way. From the spring term in nursery to Y2 all children have daily Read Write Inc. sessions. Children are grouped with other children who are working at a similar level and are assessed each half term. Children re-group according to the outcome of the assessment to ensure that they receive the specific teaching at the level they need. When children are able to de-code and understand text confidently (usually during Y2) and have achieved the expected standard, then core reading and writing skills are taught via the Read Write Inc. follow on programme called Literacy and Language. This programme helps to develop children's spoken language, reading comprehension and writing. Any children who still need to be taught key phonic skills have access to a range of intervention programmes including, Read Write Inc. Freshstart, Better Reading (1:1 programme) and Lexia. Lexia is an interactive technology based programme that tailors activities to each child's specific needs. All interventions are delivered by trained and experienced teaching and support staff, who carefully monitor each child's progress.
Children read a wide range of books at Park View but our core reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree. We use books from other schemes and publishers which are colour coded to match reading ages and reading levels. For older children we have Project X books, another reading scheme published by Oxford.
Children are heard reading regularly in school by teachers and support staff. Reading activities take place daily. Younger children are heard reading 1:1 and in groups. As children progress through school and become more fluent readers, they read in groups. Guided group reading is in place in all classes from Y2 - Y6 and the strategy used is Reciprocal Reading. In this method, teacher and children collaborate in learning and practicing four key skills: summarising, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. This helps children to learn new vocabulary and to understand what they have read.
In addition to reading activities led by teachers and support staff, a small and dedicated group of volunteers come into school weekly and hear children reading 1:1.
Reading forms the core of homework at Park View and children take books home regularly to read with parents and carers. We encourage family members to hear children reading every day at home and not just to read their school book. Comics, magazines and other reading materials can be used. Family trips to the local library can help a child to develop a love of reading too!