Reading is given a high priority across school. Jenny Turner (STA) has a love of literature, and is an enthusiastic 'book worm'; Jenny shares her love of books with our Key Stage Two children, and is instrumental in our Guided reading with these pupils! We encourage members of our community to come into school and be 'Reading Buddies' with our children... 'Nanas' Hazel and Pauline are firm favourites!
Ofsted (July 2019) recognised our love of reading:
Pupils read widely and often. Those who read to the inspector did so with enjoyment, fluency and understanding. They talked about their favourite authors and had a clear understanding of the meaning of the texts they read. Leaders have worked hard to engage parents in their children’s reading. For example, pupils are motivated by the prospect of ‘earning’ tokens for new books when they demonstrate that they have read to an adult at home on a specific number of occasions. This is having a positive impact on the progress pupils are making in reading.
We use the ELS phonics scheme!
We follow the ELS progression and sequence. This allows our children to practise their existing phonic knowledge whilst building their understanding of the ‘code’ of our language GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence). As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.
Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches relevant, useful and ambitious vocabulary to support each child’s journey to becoming fluent and independent readers.
We begin by teaching the single letter sounds before moving to diagraphs ‘sh’ (two letters spelling one sound), trigraphs‘igh’ (three letters spelling one sound) and quadgraphs ‘eigh’(four letters spelling one sound).
We teach children to:
• Decode (read) by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently
• Encode (write) by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.
The structure of ELS lessons allows children to know what is coming next, what they need to do, and how to achieve success. This makes it easier for children to learn the GPCs we are teaching (the alphabetic code) and how to apply this when reading.
ELS is designed on the principle that children should ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. Since interventions are delivered within the lesson by the teacher, any child who is struggling with the new knowledge can be immediately targeted with appropriate support. Where further support is required, 1:1 interventions are used where needed. These interventions are short, specific and effective.
Supporting Reading at Home:
• Children will only read books that are entirely decodable, this means that they should be able to read these books as they already know the code contained within the book.
• We only use pure sounds when decoding words (no ‘uh’ after the sound)
• We want children to practise reading their book 4 times across the week working on these skills:
Decode – sounding out and blending to read the word.
Fluency – reading words with less obvious decoding.
Expression – using intonation and expression to bring the text to life!
We must use pure sounds when we are pronouncing the sounds and supporting children in reading words. If we mispronounce these sounds, we will make reading harder for our children. Please watch the videos below for how to accurately pronounce these sounds.
At the beginning of each academic year, we will hold an information session for parents and carers to find out more about what we do for Phonics, Reading and English at our schools. Please do join us.
More support for parents and carers can be found here: