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Phonics and Early Reading

At Aldermoor Farm, our children will become fluent, confident readers with the comprehension skills needed, in order to prepare them for the next stage of their education. We will instil a love of reading to ensure that Aldermoor Farm children become engaged, enthusiastic and motivated readers. We believe that reading underpins the whole curriculum and is valuable life skill.

We teach phonics through the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme.

RWI is a proven synthetic phonics programme that ensures early success in reading and spelling. We follow ‘RWI for Nurseries’, in the children’s final term of Nursery. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, phonics sessions take place for 45 mins each day. Children are assessed regularly (at least every 6 weeks) and placed into homogenous groups depending on their phonetic decoding skills and fluency.

Phonics sessions

Each group is lead and taught by a RWI trained member of staff. During each session, the teacher delivers content appropriate to the group’s reading level. The start of each session begins with a speed sound lesson where they are taught a sound and practise spelling words with this sound in it. They second part of the session focuses on developing the children’s fluency and comprehension skills with books that match their phonic ability.

Coaching sessions

The RWI team at Aldermoor Farm meet fortnightly for a training session with the RWI leader. This session is used to practise activities within the RWI programme to further improve and develop the teaching of phonics. We subscribe to the RWI portal and adults are set pathways where they can watch videos of the activities they teach. Weekly drop-ins take place to ensure that adults are following the programme consistently and bespoke support is given to each adult as necessary.

Support for parents/carers

Workshops are delivered for all parents/carers who have children on the RWI programme. During these sessions, a RWI lesson is modelled so parents/carers can see the programme in action. Guidance and resources are given out to support families at home.

Class teachers upload videos of speed sound lessons on seesaw each week so children can practise these at home.

Books that children take home

All children at Aldermoor Farm have a reading planner, where they can record reading they have completed at home. All children are expected to read at least five times a week and class teachers monitor reading planners daily. To support with comprehension skills, reading planners are pre-populated with questions which enable children to focus on their daily reading and encourage parental engagement. 

Children on the RWI programme take home three books. Two of these books match the child’s phonic ability which means they are able to read these themselves. They also take home a third book which is a ‘reading for pleasure’ book. This is a book for parents/carers to read and share with their child. This is not a book that we would expect the children to be able to read themselves.

For those children who have completed the phonics scheme, we use the Accelerated Reader programme to ensure that children have texts that are closely matched to their reading ability.  

Whole Class Reading

Whole Class Reading is delivered every day from Years R to 6. At the heart of our Whole class Reading lessons, is our Aldermoor Farm Reading Spine. The books on this spine have been carefully chosen to ensure that our children have opportunities to read a breadth of literature and have exposure to a range of different text types and vocabulary.  

In every Whole Class Reading lesson, fluency is developed through spending time enjoying texts being read aloud with teachers modelling fluency and expression. Children are also given opportunities to practise reading, through different fluency techniques such as paired and choral reading.  

We also use our Whole Class Reading lessons to explicitly teach comprehension skills, in order to support our children with further developing their understanding of a text.  

Supporting the lowest 20% of readers

We are informed of our bottom 20% of readers through RWI assessments, mock phonic screening and through our professional teaching judgments. These children are supported through daily 1:1 or additional phonic sessions. These interventions are specific to each individual child depending upon their reading ability and next steps.

They are delivered by trained RWI teachers and regularly monitored by the RWI leader (Mrs Deeley).

For children in KS2 who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check, or who lack fluency, additional support is provided. This includes a daily phonic session and 1:1 reading with an adult each day. Assessments take place every three weeks to ensure they make accelerated progress. These children also have targeted daily reading fluency support with a teaching assistant or teacher. 

Assessment

All children complete the statutory reading assessments (Year 1 Phonics Screening and Key Stage 2 Reading SAT).  We also use termly reading assessments to support our children’s confidence in accessing and completing statutory assessments. These assessments are also used by teachers to inform their WCR planning.