At Paston Ridings we believe that teaching children to communicate effectively is the cornerstone to children becoming lifelong learners and access all areas of the curriculum. We follow a bespoke curriculum, carefully designed to meet the needs of our culturally diverse and ever-changing cohort of children. At Paston Ridings we aim to provide the children with exciting, cross-curricular learning experiences, integrating speaking and listening and reading and writing. We value writing for real purposes and audiences through meaningful opportunities. We believe that children will be motivated and enthused to learn through the selection of high quality texts. Most importantly, our aim is to develop in our children a love of language and literature which we believe is fundamentally important to their learning.
We teach early reading using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a complete systematic phonics programme (SSP). It is based on the original Letters and Sounds, but has been extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme that meets all the expectations of the National Curriculum, alongside the Ofsted Deep Dive into reading and prepares your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.
How we teach phonics:
- In Reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
- Phonics teaching begins in Reception from Week 2, to ensure children make a strong start and to give our children the best possible opportunities for success.
- Daily phonics sessions are timetabled for 30 minutes in Reception and Year 1.
- By the end of Reception, children will be secure in sounds up to the end of phase 4, and by the end of Year 1 they will be secure in sounds up to the end of phase 5.
- Various opportunities are used throughout the day to reinforce sounds, outside of the phonics lesson.
- Children who are secure in their phonic knowledge, are taught spelling patterns in Year 2.
Reading practice sessions:
- Children across Reception and Year 1 apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully decodable reader in small group (approximately 6 children) reading practice sessions, which aligns to the specific sounds they are learning. These books are 90% decodable.
- Reading practice sessions are 20 minutes long, and are timetabled three times a week. The first session involves decoding the book, followed by a prosody session and then a comprehension session. Each week, the focus book is changed in line with their specific phonic understanding.
- Children are then able to access the same book at home, using the Collins eBook portal, to ensure success is shared with family, alongside a sharing book to encourage reading for pleasure.
How we assess phonic knowledge:
- At the end of each week there is a review session, which recaps the weeks learning.
- Week 6 of every half term is dedicated to a review week. These weeks provide opportunities to address gaps identified by the class teacher through ongoing formative assessment.
- Children who are in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep-up’ sessions are put in place to support these children. These are carried out alongside the daily phonics lesson.
- Children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds assessment tracker.
- Half-termly phonics screening checks are also carried out in Year 1, in preparation for the Phonics Screening Check in June.
- Children who do not pass the June Phonics Screening Check will re-sit in Year 2.
Whole Class Reading
We believe that reading forms the backbone of our English curriculum. Children are introduced to a variety of core texts throughout their time at Paston Ridings, with the intent to build a large knowledge, love and repertoire of different texts.
Our approach to reading is rooted in ensuring that whilst children are rapidly acquiring their phonics knowledge, we build and develop their understanding of comprehension. The reading curriculum has been divided into seven skills, which the children are taught in turn.
How reading is taught:
- At Paston Ridings we teach daily whole class reading sessions from Y2 upwards. This allows children the opportunity to develop their fluency and build their understanding of to comprehend a text successfully.
- Reading is based around, though not solely limited to, a core text within each half term. These texts are specifically chosen for each year group to align with the Cornerstones topic, with language designed to challenge and inspire children.
- Children are taught each of the reading strategies (see below) and apply these to a range of comprehension questions, based on their core text.
- Specific reading strategies are also taught through stand-alone images, texts and videos, in order to develop understanding.
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- Children from Year 2 upwards are regularly benchmarked using Accelerated Reader, and are able to select a book that is appropriate for their reading age and level to read at home.
- Children are able to take a reading quiz, once they have read and fully understood the book they are reading.
- Staff regularly monitor the children’s quiz scores to determine their reading level. If they regularly score more than 80%, they are able to move up a reading level. Similarly, if they are scoring below 80%, teachers will move them to a more accessible level.
- STAR reading tests, which determine children’s reading age and level are completed termly, allowing the children to access the appropriate book levels.
- Children can take a quiz on any book at their AR level, not just ones they bring home from school, so this is a fantastic way to find books at their level among those at home or at the local library, and develop an interest in reading.