At Broom Valley Community School (BVCS), daily twenty minute phonics sessions are taught in F2 and Key Stage One, as well as for those pupils in KS2 who are new to English. By the end of Year 1, it is our expectation that all children will have been taught the skills needed to enable them to read widely and with fluency and that they will use their blending and segmenting skills to help them tackle unfamiliar words.
- Phonics sessions are planned systematically and are pitched and paced effectively. Sessions follow a rigorous structure of: revisit, teach, practise and apply and reflect the Letters and Sounds phases.
- Phonics sessions have exciting contexts with objects and puppets used to engage the children and enhance the learning of different sound families.
- Cued articulation is used to support the learning of each sound.
- We have created our own phonics non-negotiables for Foundation 2 and Year 1 to ensure staff are clear of the coverage and pace needed in phonics sessions so that children are age and stage or above by the end of each year.
- Pseudo (nonsense) words are included in all phonics sessions and are used in a practical context for children to apply their understanding of the sounds that they have learned.
- Cross- curricular phonics is incorporated in topic sessions so that children are able to apply what they have been taught independently, in a child initiated context.
- Classrooms and other learning spaces are rich in print.
- Current sounds being taught are in the environment, to scaffold learning and ensure that the children can embed the sounds that they have been taught.
- Phonics activities take place in and outside the classroom.
Children in F2, KS1 and children new to English in KS2, have a reading book (Oxford Reading Tree and Project X) that reflects the current sounds/high frequency words that they are learning. They read with their class teacher at least once a week. These times are used to:
- Teach reading strategies and behaviours at the instructional level of each child.
- Provide a context for teaching high frequency words and additional reading strategies such as using picture cues to support decoding.
- Explicitly support the child in his/her application of comprehension strategies.
- Assess the application of reading skills and comprehension.
Children take home the reading book (or one with the same sounds/words) to share with their parent/carers. In addition, they can also borrow a book from the class reading corner or school library.
Guided Reading (Class Reading)
From Year 2 children will have at least three class reading sessions each week. These will be based on either the class text that is being used to support the writing, a book with a similar theme or one by the same author. These sessions will be used to develop the children’s comprehension. Children will record their responses in reading journals. The teacher will focus on target ‘guided’ groups during these sessions. Children who are unable to decode the text will be supported by an additional adult to support their decoding skills. ‘Guided’ reading will be used to:
- Enable the explicit teaching of reading skills.
- Provide access to high quality ‘writerly’ texts.
Children will be given the opportunity to read independently in order to:
- Develop their research skills.
- Broaden their knowledge of books and authors.
- Support their understanding and knowledge of topic work.
- Broaden their vocabulary.
- Foster an enjoyment of reading.
Planning Writing from a Quality Text
In English lessons we use a quality ‘writerly’ text to support writing. When each new text is introduced we teach the children ways to respond to the book as a reader. We explore aspects such as:
- Author’s intent
- Characters, setting and plot
Early Years and Key Stage One
The Oxford Reading Tree scheme, including the phonics and decoding books, forms the spine of the reading materials used to teach reading. This is supported by RWI materials and a selection of books from other schemes that reflect the key vocabulary and grammar at the instructional level of the child. We organise these into Book Bands. They are kept in the ‘Reading Room’ on the KS1 corridor. Phonics Play, an interactive programme, is used to support the teaching of phonics between F2 and KS1.
Key Stage Two
Books are chosen for their level of interest whilst reflecting the instructional stage of the children. These are kept on the Key Stage Two corridor.
Each class has a book corner that has a range of popular fiction texts and texts, both fiction and non-fiction, that reflect the current topic. Resources that support the re-telling of the stories are included in the book areas in the EYs and KS1.
Assessment and Tracking
- Children’s progress in reading in the Early Years is recorded in their Learning Journeys against the age/stage of development.
- Children’s progress in phonics is tracked on half-termly grids that reflect phonics phases. Children progress is then tracked on a half termly basis, using mock screening tests. Continuous assessment informs next steps planning.
- The children’s progress in word reading and comprehension is tracked against the Key Assessment Criteria between Y1 and Y6.
- Reading records are used for children between Y1 and Y6 to record explicit teaching and assessment information for the individual teaching of reading sessions.
- Running records are used in Key Stage One and with children new to English in Key Stage Two.