KS1 Phonics and Reading Schemes

Our School Approach to the teaching of Phonics


In the Woodland Academy Trust, we have fidelity to the teaching of Phonics through the Letters and Sounds scheme. Children are assessed half termly and groups adjusted according to individual needs.


Children are set in phase groups for a daily phonic session consisting of a four-part lesson. Each lesson follows the ‘Revisit, teach, practise, apply’ method. Children revisit previously taught sounds and high frequency or tricky words. Then each session, children are taught a new sound or strategy which they practise and then apply to reading and writing. Active phonics games are encouraged to engage and motivate pupils.


Children’s progress is monitored over the year using a Phonic Tracking sheet. Children who are not making expected progress are quickly identified and further interventions are put in place to address these needs.


Children in Year 1 are expected to complete the Phonic Screening Check in June. The check involves reading a combination of forty pseudo and real words. The purpose of the check is to identify children who are able to segment and blend words at the expected level. Any children who do not reach the required standard will retake the check in Year 2 having had a targeted input throughout the year.


Our approach to the teaching of reading and reading schemes


We believe that the teaching of reading is an essential part of children’s every day experience in school. We aim to develop a love of reading and have a focus on the teaching of reading across the curriculum.


The quality of texts that children are exposed to is essential. The school uses the following schemes to support the teaching of reading:
Children are taught to read primarily using a structured phonics programme. The Letters and Sounds programme is followed for all children up the end of Key Stage 1. There is a daily phonics session throughout the school and children are regularly assessed to identify any gaps in learning. Children move onto the key objectives for Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling when they have completed all six phases in the Letters and Sounds programme. At the end of year one, children take part in a phonics check. The results of the check are reported to parents in the end of year report. Any children who do not reach the expected standard are then identified and given additional support to ensure success when retaking the check at the end of year two.


In KS1 and KS2, regular teaching of key reading skills takes place through a combination of lively, engaging lessons and activities such as whole class teaching five times per week, individual 1:1 reading with TAS and class teachers, daily story time class sessions, focused, needs‐based reading interventions and cross‐curricular reading. Texts are high quality, interesting and engaging. Children’s progress in reading is tracked on an ongoing basis using the schools’ data management system. Advanced reading skills in comprehension, speaking and listening, spelling and grammar are developed across the curriculum.


Parents of all children in the school may request a breakdown of children’s progress in reading steps and sounds being taught at any time throughout the year from the class teacher.


Phonics is not limited to a daily 20 minute lesson and every opportunity is taken to link the teaching of phonics and spelling to all aspects of the curriculum. To ensure the provision of Phonic teaching is of the highest quality and substantial progress is made, children across KS1 are grouped according to their phonic needs. With the deployment of additional Teaching Assistants, the groups are smaller in size and as a result can be tailored specifically to meet individual needs. In the EYFS, phonics opportunities are planned to link to the activities taking part in class each day. The handwriting scheme ‘Achieving excellence in handwriting’ taught throughout used the school also reinforces the Letters and Sounds phonic programme followed by the school.


The Oxford reading tree home reading scheme banded books are used from Reception through to KS1 and also support the letters and sounds phases as appropriate. Reading is taught in every class every day for approximately 45 minutes in all Key Stage 1 and 2 classes. In addition, all pupils have individual reading sessions with an adult over the course of the week.


All children take home reading books from the school, which are changed regularly, depending on the needs of the child. Parents are encouraged to comment in their child’s reading record and their views are taken into account when providing books to be read at home. Reading books are kept in children’s book bags and returned to school on a daily basis in order that children can be heard to read regularly at school as well as at home.


Children have the opportunity to visit the local library with their class on a number of occasions during the school year to broaden their awareness of the services available to them outside school. Children are able to choose a book that they can borrow and bring back to school before returning on their next visit. Employees of the Library Service also come to school and advertise the Summer Reading Challenge which pupils are encouraged to participate in.


Parents can support children with their reading by taking part in a reading activity at home every day. Short, five to ten minute bursts of daily activities are the best way to keep children motivated. These activities could include sharing a story, reading signs in the environment, practising sounds and key words taught at school and playing word games. Class teachers and the English leader are always willing to share ideas with parents on how to support children’s reading.


Children in EYFS and KS1 are signed up to Teach Your Monster to Read which can be played for free on any computer. The game takes children on a magical journey, meeting colourful characters along the way and collecting fantastic rewards. As they progress, they rehearse a range of essential reading skills; matching letters to sounds, blending, segmenting, tricky words and reading full sentences. https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/

In KS1 and KS2 we use accelerated reader quizzes, when a child has finished their book, these allow us to monitor the children’s understand of the books they are reading. This means that your child will complete a quiz for the books that they read. As teachers, we monitor the results alongside their in class reading and if we find that children are always reading books that are too easy or too hard, we then guide their choices.

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