Phonics & Reading
At Highweek Primary School our aim is to develop an ethos of reading for pleasure, teaching our children the skills that will enable a lifelong enjoyment of books and learning. Engaging in reading with your children at home will assist in installing this within them. Reading underpins all that we do at school, and makes a vital difference in attainment in education.
A love of books and the teaching of reading starts from the nursery onward where we introduce a structured approach to phonics through Read Write Inc.
This exciting scheme has impact on the children’s love of books and confidence. It is based on achieving real success each session where the focus is on ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. In these sessions, children will only be asked to read words where they have met the sounds before in their learning. Any ‘tricky’ words (words that cannot be easily sounded out by ‘Fred Talk’) are specifically ‘taught’ so that each child is equipped to read words & texts at their level. Progress is assessed each half term and children are grouped according to their reading needs. Time is also spent talking about the texts and in developing comprehension skills.
In EYFS & KS1, books that children choose to bring home are for ‘sharing’ with an adult as some of the sounds and words may not yet have been met in RWI sessions. We do not use any one specific reading scheme for the shared books because we do not want the children to get too dependent on a particular style. Instead, we use a range of schemes and group the books into colour bands of similar difficulty.
At Key Stage 2, the children follow a computerised programme called Accelerated Reader. It is a digital resource which really targets and boosts the children’s reading levels in an exciting way. The programme tracks the child’s progress over the course of the school year. The children undertake a diagnostic test (STAR Test) which helps us to work out their reading level and estimated reading age. We are then able to match the children to a range of books at the appropriate level of challenge, while reading for enjoyment.
During reading sessions in school, children are able to choose a variety of texts (both fiction and non-fiction). They can then take a quiz on the book that they have just read- answering a range of comprehension questions. Each child will receive a report on the quiz results that shows how well they have done. Teachers also receive information that will enable them to assist pupils in further reading choices. Parents can log on to Renaissance Home Connect which will enable them to support their child’s AR reading by seeing their reading history and quiz results. Children are also encouraged to quiz at home with the support of their parents to boost their confidence.
Children are awarded certificates recognising their ‘word count’ on ARE. We celebrate milestones in their reading journey, encouraging them to beat their best each year.
Pupils choose their own individual reading book from the school library or class reading areas.
Each class, from Year 1-6, engages in Guided Reading sessions weekly. At Highweek, the ‘Whole Class Guided Reading’ approach is used, where all children can access a range of high level comprehension dialogue, collaborative learning and vocabulary. We use a range of pictures, non-fiction, fiction and poetry texts.
Every week, children from Year 5 or 6 become ‘Surprise Readers’, where they read a book to the whole of KS1, virtually, via Microsoft Teams. This helps us to showcase reading role-models to our younger children, while allowing them to be read to from a variety of children.
To support our teaching of reading, at Highweek Primary School each child is expected to read at home daily, whether that is to an adult (for developing readers) or independently (for fluent readers). Sharing a book daily with your child is vital for increasing their reading confidence and fluency.
We thank you for your continued support.
More information to follow.