At the Gateway we aim for all our pupils to become fluent, confident readers with a good understanding of a wide range of literature. A love of reading is central to our culture at The Gateway and our aim is to create learners with a life-long passion for reading. Our approach for the teaching of reading provides our children with the opportunity to read widely and our resources enable all our pupils to experience a wide range of texts (fiction, non-fiction and poetry). We recognise that vocabulary is a key part of reading and this is explicitly taught without our reading curriculum.
Phonics is taught daily in EYFS and KS1 using Letters and Sounds supported by a range of practical and online resources including Phonics Play. Pupils are taught to recognise, blend and segment sounds for Reading and Spelling.
Reading is taught daily in every year group and reflects the National curriculum and is split into word reading and comprehension. We use a range of strategies to develop both areas of reading. It is supported by regular reading at home.
Our daily reading sessions ensure pupils are immersed in a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They read independently for pleasure and in teacher directed guided Reading small groups to develop fluency and comprehension skills. Books are carefully graded (book bands) to ensure a clear progression of skills and appropriate challenge. Class texts are linked to cross curricular topics to ensure Reading is embedded across the curriculum and that our pupils are introduced to a range of authors. Our library has a range of non-fiction books to promote Reading and Research in all subjects.
The Role of Synthetic, Systematic Phonics in the
Teaching of Reading at The Gateway
At The Gateway, we follow the Letters and Sounds guidance for the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics. All of our phonics sessions involve – Revisit, Review, Teach, Practise, Apply and Assess. We use phonicsplay.com, which is planned in line with letters and sounds, to support the planning of our phonics teaching.
In the Foundation Stage, our children are introduced to phase 1 and complete activities to develop their listening skills and oral segmenting and blending skills. When they are ready, we introduce phase 2 (the alphabet sounds and the initial digraphs). Alongside this, we model how to write the sounds using pre-cursive and display the sounds taught in the environment to promote the children using them in their writing. Throughout each phase, formative assessment takes place and any children who are not making the expected progress are identified and they are given additional adult support in phonics lessons or additional teaching.
At the end of each phase, the children are assessed and any children requiring additional support are given additional interventions to ensure we close any gaps in phonics learning. The children then move onto the next phase.
At the start of Year 1, the children revisit phase 3 and 4 briefly and then any children needing additional support are identified. They then start phase 5. The children’s phonics learning is displayed in the environment and the children are given sound mats to help them in the independent apply stage of phonics teaching. Throughout Year 1, children complete practice phonics screenings to identify gaps and next steps in their phonics learning.
At the end of Year 1, the children take the National Phonics Screening check. The National Phonics Screening Check requires pupils to read 20 real and 20 nonsense words to assess their ability to decode words phonetically. We call these nonsense words 'alien words' and children will practise these in their phonics lessons in Year R and Year 1. Any children who do not reach the expected standard receive additional phonics support in Year 2.
In Year 2, the children recap phase 5 at the start of their spelling sessions and they continue to develop strategies for segmenting and blending unknown words for their reading and writing. They then move onto phase 6 and learn the Year 2 spelling rules.
Help at Home
Some good websites to help your child practise their phonics skills at home are:
www.letters and sounds.com
Developing Comprehension Skills
Individual reading is used throughout the EYFS and Year 1. Initially pupils are introduced to picture books and are encouraged to discuss the pictures in order to develop their story telling and language skills. The children then begin to read simple sentences linked to their phonics learning. Predominately, Oxford Reading Tree texts are used (which are closely matched to their phonics learning) and once the children are confident they move onto reading texts from a range of reading schemes. The English co-ordinator and class teacher regularly monitors book band assessments and identifies children who need to be ‘hot list’ readers (daily reading to accelerate progress).
In Year 1, pupils continue to read individually to adults in class twice a week and once they move onto orange texts, they begin group reading.
Daily individual reading is used across the school from Year 2, for pupils identified as making slow progress to support them on their individual targets, for example: fluency or comprehension skills.
From the end of Year 1, guided reading is used with pupils to deepen their comprehension of texts. When it is first introduced children are in groups of 4 and develop their understanding of the text through adult led questions. They are introduced to a range of poetry, non-fiction and poetry. Guided reading is used across KS2 and group notes are made linked to the reading content domains. Children continue to take book banded books home with them daily. In KS1, during guided reading the other children read for enjoyment with partners, use the CD player or listen to stories on the computer.
Whole Class Comprehension
In Year R, 1 and 2 the children read a range of picture books on a daily basis. They discuss the pictures and focus on developing their vocabulary, making inferences, predictions, recall and begin to develop their explanations orally. In addition to this in Year 2, they begin to develop their written comprehension and deepen their comprehension skills when reading longer texts. We also use Pie Corbett story telling to learn a text with actions.
At The Gateway we expect children to read at home on a regular basis and it forms a key component of our home learning expectations. Children can change their books every day and keep a reading log to record their reading at home.
In the Early Years and KS1 children will take home a scheme book (graded to their stage of development) to practise their reading skills at home. They also take home a picture book for parents to read to them to ensure they have every opportunity to develop their language skills and enjoy a shared reading experience. By reading regularly at home children are much more likely to develop early fluency and become life-long readers.
In KS2 reading at home remains part of children's home learning tasks. Even when children become fluent independent readers we will still encourage reading together and discussing the book to secure good comprehension skills.
Please use these documents to give you further ideas for books to enjoy with your child.