Reading & Phonics (including Early Reading)
Subject Leader: Ms Badar
“The more that you read, the more that you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss
At Cheetwood Primary we value the impact that Reading has on children’s lives. Reading is a fundamental life skill that builds the foundations for lifelong learning. We believe that Reading opens up new worlds for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures.
At Cheetwood we place reading at the heart of everything that we do. We believe that children and staff should love reading and see themselves as readers. They should be able to talk confidently about books, form their own opinions and make choices in reading. Children are encouraged to develop a love for reading and as a school we promote reading for pleasure. Children are given opportunities to enjoy our school library on a weekly basis and have access their class library areas on a daily basis.
Our approach to reading at Cheetwood is to ensure all children are taught specific reading skills explicitly using VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Summarise/Sequence). We ensure that these skills build in complexity throughout children’s time at school so that they become critical readers. We understand that in order for this to happen, as a first step children must be taught how to decode and read fluently using systematic synthetic phonics. At Cheetwood we teach phonics through the DfE validated Twinkl SSP programme.
At Cheetwood we understand the crucial role that vocabulary and fluency play in children’s development. We recognise that children’s life chances are directly impacted by their vocabulary knowledge and the ability to articulate their ideas.
We are aware that many children arrive at Cheetwood with an already significant word gap, as detailed and researched by Oxford University Press (Oxford University Press 2019 Why Closing the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report). Many of our children also speak English as an Additional Language and therefore require additional targeted support to expand their English vocabulary.
We aim for every child to leave Cheetwood with a well-developed vocabulary, which they are confident in using in any situation.
At Cheetwood, we follow Twinkl SSP phonics programme which is a cohesive whole school. It builds continuously on prior learning; it establishes a progressive consistent approach to teaching early reading skills. The programme starts in nursery with level 1 phonics and is followed through to level 6 in year 2. Pupils who are identified as requiring extra support with phonics in KS2 follow the Twinkl Codebreaker intervention programme. In order for children to be able to apply their decoding and comprehension skills, it is important that they have plenty of opportunities to read texts that are fully decodable and matched to the phonics level they are working on. At Cheetwood, we use Rhino Readers, which is the Twinkl reading scheme supporting the Twinkl phonics programme.
We teach reading skills explicitly using the VIPERS approach. Reading is taught as a whole-class, daily, using vocabulary rich texts over a two-week cycle. This ensures thorough coverage of all reading skills including fluency. Children are given to opportunity to read and explore a wide variety of texts across the different genres by inspirational authors.
We will aim to:
Develop pupils’ reading through the TWINKL systematic, synthetic phonics teaching, guided reading/Whole class reading, home reading books, and shared reading, individual reading and library access so that children will learn to read widely, fluently, frequently and with good understanding and pleasure.involve parents in improving their child’s reading through phonics and reading workshops, school library, home reading diaries and phonemically progressive home-reading books, phonics/reading home learning.ensure reading will have a high priority in school, promoting a good model of reading with expression, enjoyment and understanding, through daily reading lessons, shared reading and access to books in an inviting reading area.ensure all pupils to have the opportunity to have a high quality text read to them daily in school.
Phonics and Early reading
- At Cheetwood, we follow Twinkl SSP phonics programme which is a cohesive whole school. It builds continuously on prior learning; it establishes a progressive consistent approach to teaching early reading skills.
We believe that children learn best when they are enjoying their learning and that this comes from a mix of bright, fun and engaging lesson resources within a clear and systematic approach that builds on children’s skills daily
- The structure of every Twinkl Phonics lesson follows this familiar five-part structure to ensure that the four cornerstones of phonics are covered
- During our phonics lessons, children will repeat the elements from the four cornerstones of phonics to ensure that they have rapid and automatic recall of GPCs and tricky/common exception words; each day, they will experience blending and segmenting activities to allow regular practice of these core skills
- Stories are used to provide a stimulus and context for phonics teaching in our Twinkl Phonics lessons. Our phonics lessons are also supported by weekly decodable minibooks, which are part of our core provision, where children can apply the skills they have learnt in their phonics lessons.
- In addition, we use actions to help the children remember phonemes; this multi sensory approach helps the children to retain the phonemes and supports children with SEND.
- Decodable reading books are also provided, matched to the children’s phonic level through the use of Rhino Readers.
- In Reception-Year 1 we use both individual and guided reading to teach early reading alongside discreet phonics lessons.
- In conjunction with the teaching of phonics, we also give our children phonics-based activities to take home at the appropriate level. These include parent information sheets, home learning booklets.
- Phonics is taught daily in EYFS – Yr3 for 30 minutes per day. Some children may continue to need discrete phonics sessions in key stage 2. If this is the case, they will receive a daily 20 minutes intervention session, delivered using the Twinkl Phonics Codebreakers interventions 3 times per week.
- Progression: In Nursery pupils are taught Level 1. Throughout Level 1, young learners develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to use and discriminate between auditory, environmental and instrumental sounds through 7 Aspects.
- In Reception: Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 are taught. This is to ensure: the first 19 most commonly-used letters and the sounds they make are taught first, move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters, introduce some tricky words for reading. By the end of Level 3: pupils are introduced to another 25 graphemes, including consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs so that children can represent 42 phonemes with a grapheme, continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation, apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. Level 4 consolidates children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words, especially digraphs and trigraphs, introduces words with adjacent consonants – CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC, CVCCC, CCCVCC, CCVCCC and pupils learn polysyllabic words and learn to read and spell some more tricky words.
- In Year 1: Starting in September we allow for consolidation in Autumn 1 for all our pupils before starting Level 5 with those who are secure with blending and segmenting to read using previously taught phonemes from Level 2-4. Before starting this Level 5, pupils must: recognise Level 2 and 3 GPCs, blend to read and segment to spell words containing adjacent consonants, read tricky words – some, one, said, come, do, so, were, when, have, there, out, like, little, what, spell tricky words – he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, here, they, all, are, write each letter, usually correctly.
- The purpose of Level 5 is to: learn alternative graphemes for known phonemes, learn alternative pronunciations of known graphemes, introduce split digraphs, introduce suffixes and prefixes, learn to read and spell more common exception words.
- In Year 2: Pupils cover Level 6 however we ensure to provide support for those pupils who need to revisit Level 5 or previous Levels. The purpose of Level 6 is to: develop children’s knowledge of spelling patterns and best-guess grapheme selection, learn more alternative graphemes for known phonemes, learn more alternative pronunciations for known graphemes, introduce the /zh/ phoneme, develop an understanding of the spelling rules for adding suffixes and prefixes, introduce homophones/near homophones and contractions, learn to spell more common exception words, develop their understanding of grammar rules, learn effective writing techniques including editing and proofreading and learn more strategies to read and write independently.
- For those children who are working below age-related expectations, phonics learning should not end in KS1. If, through assessment and observation, teachers have decided that a child needs further phonics intervention, Twinkl Codebreakers will be used. It is a comprehensive and scripted intervention programme, specifically designed for KS2 pupils to close the gap and develop essential reading and writing skills.
- Guided reading in Reception and Year 1 – carried out in small groups using phonically decodable reading books. Visuals are used to support reading: Eagle Eye, Stretchy Snake, Trying Lion, Chunky Monkey and Flippy Dolphin. Pupils are encouraged to recognise the tricky words, apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words, to blend words to read the whole word after segmenting (‘robot talk’), to go back to the beginning of the sentence or caption after blending to read each word – so the sentence builds up and by the end the pupil is able to hold in memory and read without having to segment and blend the word again. This is done to promote fluency and automaticity in reading.
Reading VIPERS from Yr2 -Yr6
- We teach reading skills explicitly using the VIPERS approach: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise/Sequencing (KS1)
- Reading is taught as a whole-class, daily, using vocabulary rich texts over a two-week cycle. This ensures thorough coverage of all reading skills including fluency. Children are given to opportunity to read and explore a wide variety of texts across the different genres by inspirational authors.
- Fluency is taught on a weekly basis using the text being studied in the whole class reading sessions. Teacher model fluent reading so that pupils can hear what fluent reading is. Pupils engage in assisted reading: pupils read a text whilst listening to a fluent reading of the same text; and are given opportunities for repeated reading: pupils practice reading texts repeatedly until they can read the text in a fluent manner. Teachers use choral reading and echo reading strategies.
By the time pupils leave Cheetwood Primary we hope for them to be competent, lifelong readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, have been exposed to rich vocabulary and can confidently participate in discussions about books.