Phonics and Reading
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is our new phonics programme used in school. Please see below for a link to the Little Wandle website with more information about the programme and the resources used with the children.
Why learning to read is so important
- Reading is essential for all subject areas and improves life chances.
- Positive attitudes to reading and choosing to read have academic, social and emotional benefits for children.
How children learn to read
- Phonics is the only route to decoding.
- Learning to say the phonic sounds.
- By blending phonic sounds to read words.
- Increasing the child’s fluency in reading sounds, words and books.
Reading fully decodable books
- Children must read books consistent with their phonic knowledge.
- It is essential not to use other strategies to work out words (including guessing words, deducing meaning from pictures, grammar, context clues or whole word recognition).
- Books must be fully decodable and follow the Little Wandle scheme
- Children need to read books in a progressive sequence until they can decode unfamiliar words confidently.
The role of Parents’ and Carers’
- Have a positive impact on their child’s reading.
- Should model the importance of reading practice to develop fluency.
- Children take home books they have read at school to re-read at home to build fluency.
- There are two different types of books that pupils bring home: reading practice and books to share for pleasure.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.
Phonics begins in Nursery – Daily ‘phase 1’ activities are introduced to embed the foundations for phonics. This will ensure children are well prepared to begin grapheme–phoneme correspondence and blending at the start of Reception. Daily phonic sessions continue into Year 1 and the Autumn term in Year 2.
Throughout the phonics programme, progress is tracked and monitored closely to identify children who require ‘keep up’ sessions. These short sessions will be specific to individual needs and will take place throughout the school day.
Children in Key Stage 2 will continue to receive ‘keep up’ interventions until they have a secure knowledge of phonic phases 1-5.
Reception and Year 1 overviews
This programme overview (below) shows the progression of GPCs and tricky words that we teach term-by-term. The progression has been organised so that children are taught from the simple to more complex GPCs, as well as taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words. All the graphemes taught are practised in words, sentences, and later on, in fully decodable books. Children review and revise GPCs and words, daily, weekly and across terms and years, in order to move this knowledge into their long term memory. Children need to learn to read as quickly as reasonably possible, so they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading. Expectations of progression are aspirational yet achievable if schools maintain pace, practice and participation by all children. Children who are not keeping-up with their peers are given additional practice immediately through keep-up sessions.
From years 2-6 we use Accelerated Reader (from April 2018)
Accelerated Reader gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning.
A comprehensive set of reports reveals how much a student has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills are also measured, giving teachers insight into how well students have responded to reading schemes and class instruction.
Because students receive regular feedback from Accelerated Reader, teachers and librarians are given many opportunities to praise students for their successes and to discuss with them what they have been reading.
Accelerated Reader gives students significantly greater choice in levelled books and quizzes than any comparable reading programme. The importance of daily personalised reading practice cannot be overstated. Recent studies indicate that when students spend 25 minutes a day reading suitably challenging books which they successfully comprehend (demonstrated by achieving 90% or more on the reading practice quiz), then they will achieve optimal reading age growth. This is the power of personalised practice.
Over 31,000 reading practice quizzes are available on books from over 300 publishers and imprints. Independent of any publishing interests and suitable for students of primary and secondary age, AR ensures that there are plenty of books to interest every reader available on the programme.
The National Literacy Trust’s second independent research report into the reading habits of students using Accelerated Reader was published earlier this year.
“Children and young people who use Accelerated Reader tend to enjoy reading more, do it more often and think more positively about reading than their peers who do not use Accelerated Reader. They are also more likely to see a link between reading and their successes.”
Dr Christina Clark, National Literacy Trust