Phonics and Reading

Living Our Values Everyday

“I think it’s the books that you read when you’re young that live with you forever.”

                 J.K. Rowling

Phonics and Reading

Here at Scargill we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated in striving to foster a lifelong love of reading. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Reading:

  • To develop pupils’ reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge.
  • To teach all pupils to read fluently.
  • To ensure they have a deep understanding of what they have read (both fiction and non-fiction)
  • To develop a love of reading.
  • To promote wider reading.
  • To provide library facilities

What is our philosophy for phonics and reading (Curriculum Intent) 

We aim for a high quality reading curriculum where all children at Scargill can read with fluency and accuracy in order to access texts and learning at age related expectations or beyond. We aspire for all our children to develop a love of reading through purposeful teaching of high-quality, diverse texts, putting reading at the heart of the curriculum. Our school is a reading rich environment that values books and promotes a rich vocabulary to inspire, support and connect learning across the curriculum. We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. When children's reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for not only reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. 

We believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves.

Our aim is to:

  •          Teach a reading curriculum, which develops fluency, understanding, and knowledge of language in our children.
  •          Ensure children become enthusiastic, confident readers, who read for pleasure.
  •          Develop comprehension skills so children can retrieve, summarise, deduce and infer information from what they have read.
  •          Teach a curriculum, which is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils, and including pupils with SEND, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
  •          Expose children to a vast range of texts, genres and authors so they can involve themselves in discussions about what they have read and make comparisons between texts and authors.

At Scargilll we also model application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

How do we teach phonics and reading? (Implementation) 

Early Reading and Phonics 

The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Reception and Key Stage 1. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Systematic Synthetic Phonics scheme (SSP) This systematic programme teaches the essential skills needed for reading.  

Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not passed the phonics screening check in Year 1. Group reading sessions take place 3x weekly and books are closely matched to each child’s secure phonic knowledge. Each session has a specific focus, with day 1 being decoding, day 2: prosody and day 3:comprehension. The phonically decodable books are then sent home on the third day of reading within the group read. All teachers and TAs have been training in using this programme.

Each phonics lesson includes the following elements:

  •          Revise and recap the previous graphemes and tricky words that have been taught previously.
  •          Teach - introduce a new GPC and orally blend some words, including previously taught phonemes.
  •          Practise reading some words which include the new GPC.
  •          Apply - Children are given the opportunity to read and write words and sentences, including the taught grapheme.

For further details of what the teaching of phonics looks like please click on the link below.

In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in reading, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. KS1 and KS2 follow the National Curriculum which is progressive through the years, which Reception focus on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

Whole Class Reading

Children who have completed the Little Wandle phonics programme in KS1 and all children in KS2 take part in Whole Class Reading sessions 3x weekly. We use FRED's reading, which includes rich and varied texts or extracts from texts. Each session includes comprehension questions as we recognise the importance of developing this aspect and ensure children understand what they have read and heard. Teachers and TAs have been trained in using this programme. 

Independent Reading

Teachers assess children on their fluency and comprehension in order to help match children to the best books for their age and stage, taking into account any SEND. Children are then free to select books within this range. In KS2 this means a visit to our library. 

Reading for Pleasure

At Scargill we provide children with many opportunities to develop a love of reading.

Teachers read to pupils during daily ‘R’ Time sessions. This is an important part of the school day and enjoyed by both staff and pupils alike. All classrooms have their own class reading areas with a range of age appropriate books and topic books.

In Reception and KS1, children are free to choose reading for pleasure books and take them home as a ‘share with me’ book. We have a school library area which is stocked with a wide range of books, including a 'recommended reads' section for all year groups. KS2 children are encouraged to visit the library to choose a 'reading for pleasure' book, whilst KS1 children also visit the school library and choose books to refresh the class reading corners. Our wonderful young librarians maintain the library under the direction of the reading leads. They love lunch times as children often choose to visit the library as a reward for earning 50 dojo points, so the librarians have the opportunity to share their growing knowledge of a range of books and share their love of reading!

Additional Opportunities for Reading

Throughout the year we promote a love of reading through events and activities such as national reading events, book sales and swaps, author visits, book clubs, book fairs and take and other opportunities we can to promote reading for pleasure.

We take part in a Readathon, which children are sponsored to read. This raises valuable funds for books in school and also supports 'Read for Good' in placing story tellers and resources in hospitals for children. 

Rewarding Reading at Home

Children in KS1 are encouraged to 'Read a Rainbow'. They are given a red bookmark with 25 segments, which they colour each time they read at home. Once all 25 segments have been completed they move on to the orange bookmark, then yellow etc... until they have completed the rainbow.

In KS2 children collect additional dojo points for reading at home, and for specifically reading to an adult at home. All children from Reception to Year 6 have a reading record which is used to record reading at home in. 

What is the Outcome of Reading and Phonics? (Impact)

Our Reading and Phonics Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into KS3, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

A range of assessment techniques and tools are used by the teachers to generate information. Assessment is part of a process for making inferences (inferences are a combination of both assessment information and teacher judgement). We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Pass rate for year 1 in the National Phonics Screening Check, and any Y2's who didn't pass in Y1.       
  • Reception and Y1, along with any Y2 who are working through the Little Wandle phonics programme are assessed at the end of each half term.
  • Pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Listening to children read.
  • Year 2 and 6 pupils are assessed using end of key stage statutory assessments (SATs) and are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.
  •  Discussions with senior leaders during pupil progress meetings.
  • Informal assessment of reading takes place during each reading session.
  • Three times a year we carry out summative assessments in reading using Rising Stars NTS Assessment tests. For this, pupils will complete a reading assessment that is then marked and feedback is provided. Using the MARK software, pupils marks for each question are inputted and gaps can then be identified. This is then used by teachers when planning any interventions or adapting future reading sessions.
Pupil Voice
Here at Scargill we value the views and opinions of all children, from Reception to Year 6, including those children with SEND. This is what they have said so far...
'I love reading!' Reception child
'I'm getting better at my reading, and I love hearing my teacher read.' Year 1 child
'The library is the best place to go to read a book, it is so comfy to read with me friends.' Year 2 child
'I can recommend this book- I am nearly at the end and have only been reading it for three days!' Year 5 child
'It makes me feel proud when I read to the younger children in the library.' Year 6 child
Phonics has lots of terminology which we teach the children - the main ones are explained in the terminology document below (e.g. grapheme, phoneme, digraph)
Pronunciation guides - download a guide of how we teach our children to say their sounds in Reception.
Recommended Reads
Below you will find 50 recommended reads for each year group. Why not print of the list and tick off the ones you have read. How many will you tick off? 
In addition to these- what would you recommend? We would love to hear about your favourite books- you may even find your recommendation in our very own library!
Subject Lead
Mrs Chisholm is our Reading and Phonics lead here at Scargill. Reading forms part of our English curriulum, therefore Mrs Chisholm works with the rest of the English team- Mrs Birkin and Miss Lang.
The Governor linked to reading (as part of English) is Linda Webster.

Promotion of British Values & Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development: How does this subject promote British Values & SMSC?

Through our rich & varied curriculum, we ensure that our children are well equipped for life in modern Britain & through subject linkage have an excellent understanding of Democracy, the Rule of Law, Responsibility & Liberty, Mutual Respect plus Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. As a result of this pupils thrive – enjoying their lives, learning & want to make a difference for others.