Teaching of Reading and Phonics at
Glenthorne Community Primary School
Glenthorne is creating a passionate reading community where leaders believe that the key to children’s success is their ability to read. Every child should be able to read for pleasure and to a high standard. We firmly believe that reading feeds children’s imagination and unlocks the joy and wonder for curious young minds. We have a well-organised system for teaching reading, which starts from the beginning of Nursery. We aim to ensure that every child is given the tools to become an enthusiastic, confident reader.
In Early Years, we teach discrete phonics sessions daily and we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ sequence for teaching sounds using the ‘Jolly Phonics’ songs to support letter sounds. Children are taught listening skills from Nursery and the skill of segmenting and blending orally and build on these skills and develop new phonic skills in Reception. They are given opportunities to apply these in the context of reading and writing. They are also taught how to handle books. They learn that all print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through adults sharing and discussing books.
In Key Stage One, we continue to teach discrete phonics sessions using the Letters and Sounds programme supplemented by our own resources ensuring children have regular opportunities to apply their increasing phonic knowledge when reading a range of texts. Children continue to apply their phonic knowledge to their writing.
From Year Two to Year Six, we teach discrete weekly comprehension lessons as well as comprehension through our taught texts. Children are exposed to a range of literature, including short films and animations. Such lessons focus on different types of questions, building confidence in understanding and interpreting texts and also exposing children to new vocabulary.
Individual reading in school: Teachers regularly listen to children read individually. Enjoying books with an adult is an essential tool when learning to read. Teachers aim to ensure that children feel positive about themselves as readers each time they share a book. We aim to develop fluent, expressive readers who are able to discuss the books they have read, empathise with characters and give opinions. Teachers are responsible for moving children up through the reading scheme stages to ensure that books allocated provide challenge. Individual reading is monitored by the reading leader termly to ensure that children are making progress.
Reading for pleasure is promoted through daily reading and story time; a range of Reading events; teachers reading to different classes; an annual book fair and cross-curricular reading opportunities. All year groups have book areas where children can access high quality texts. Across school, alongside the use of the library and year group book loans, we also offer ‘Bug Club’, which is an online reading tool used to encourage children to read at school and within the home. Children are assigned a range of books tailored for their reading age and interests. This system also promotes reading for pleasure.
English planning & Core Reading Coverage
Teachers nurture a love of books and introduce books with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the book is explored.
As a school, we want to ensure children are exposed to a range of high quality texts that open up the world to them (building Cultural Capital and vocabulary) but also expose them to different genres and text types. We have used the ethos and planning structure from CLPE (Centre of Literacy in Primary Education) and their ‘Power of Reading’ approach to structure our teaching sequences. We have then customised it to fit our school and curriculum.
We have then plotted out a progression document that includes identified threads to allow children to apply prior knowledge, gained from their whole class reading, to support them in their future learning. For example, the knowledge gained throughout their journey in Myths will allow them to fully understand the book ‘Skellig’ taught at the end of the primary phase. The areas of focus include:
Reading at home: Children are encouraged to read regularly at home and discuss texts with parents. Children’s reading records are an important source of communication between home and school.
Engagement with parents: We host a yearly reading meeting for Reception and Year 1 parents and a phonics meeting for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 parents. In KS2, children have challenges for reading where children receive points for each book read and move along the display to encourage home reading.
At Glenthorne, we identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run intervention reading groups and are fortunate to have parents and governors who come in regularly to hear children read, including working on their high frequency words. Most children on the SEND register have reading and comprehension as one of their targets. Teachers plan and teach English lessons which are differentiated/scaffolded to the particular needs of each child. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.
To monitor this impact, the strategies identified in the Curriculum Overview document will be used.