Our structured approach to reading is carefully designed to ensure the best results for our children. The teaching of phonics starts as soon as the children enter their Reception year. The scheme of work that we use to teach phonics across EYFS and KS1 is Read Write Inc. Through this structured programme children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. The books provide a thought-provoking introduction and prompts for thinking out loud and discussion. By rereading the texts, the children are enabled to read with a storyteller’s voice.
Children could not make the progress they do without support from home and we work closely with parents to ensure they understand how to pronounce the phonic sounds correctly and have strategies to develop their child’s reading skills.
More information about how to help at home can be found here
Progression of reading through Key Stage 1 and 2
As the children move through Key Stage 1, phonics remains a high priority. Once the children have mastered the phonic code then daily guided reading sessions focus on retrieval and higher order reading skills such as inference and the development of vocabulary using a range of texts – fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Children are actively encouraged to read at home. The books that children in Key Stage 1 will initially bring home are all phonetically decodable. Families are encouraged to allow children to read this book 2 to 3 times during the week to ensure fluency and comprehension. The book also contains activities to undertake at home to support reading skills. Once children have mastered the phonic code, they are provided with appropriate colour banded books that they can read with fluency and accuracy to develop reading for meaning.
As their reading progresses through lower Key Stage 2 and into upper Key Stage 2, we work on developing children’s vocabulary and comprehension skills through structured whole class guided reading sessions. Activities are carefully planned to ensure that reading stamina also develops as children progress through the school. Our class books ensure that all our pupils are exposed to high quality challenging texts. These have been carefully selected to ensure that children experience a range of quality literature. This allows for an immersion in more sophisticated vocabulary and therefore helps them to build their own vocabulary that will be wider, challenging and more specific.
Our children in Key Stage 2 are also encouraged to read at home and select books from a range of sources. In lower Key Stage 2, the children are guided to books that are colour banded to support their reading fluency and comprehension before being able to select freely from our extensive collections of books in our class and year group libraries. Children who require additional repetition of phonics to consolidate their understanding of the sounds at the start of Key Stage 2, are provided with appropriate targeted support.
To ensure the best outcome for all our pupils, assessment is used continuously to identify any child who is in danger of falling behind. Targeted interventions are used to help these children ‘catch up’ and their progress is carefully monitored by class teachers and school leaders.
At Dunalley our writing lessons are based around a rich variety of children’s literature. The books are used as starting points or as models of good writing designed to stimulate and excite our children to be writers.
Each year group from Reception through to Year 6 uses a range of texts throughout the year. These books – fiction, non-fiction, picture books and poetry are chosen to provide good examples of literature to the children as well as - in many cases - linking to work in other subject areas. These deliberate book choices cover a range of subjects and genres.
Our children are taught to write for a range of purposes – such as to entertain, inform, persuade and discuss. Within this, children are taught the requirements for grammar and spelling and their vocabulary is enriched through a targeted approach to word acquisition.
Across all subjects we develop the subject specific vocabulary needed to communicate and write effectively.