Shalford Infant & Nursery School is determined that every child will learn to read, regardless of background, needs or abilities. We want our children to be fluent, confident readers. They will be exposed to a wealth of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction to develop their vocabulary, language comprehension and engender a genuine love of reading and a keen interest in a range of texts. We work to inspire them to become life-long readers who enjoy books and have a desire to read for pleasure.
In order for the children to have the will to read, and be able to read to learn, they need to have secure skills in reading so that they can read with fluency and comprehension. Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum. We want every child to read widely, and to gain a rich knowledge across the curriculum. By offering a wide range of texts we aim to broaden their minds and experiences to allow them to empathise with the world in which they live and support the development of their cultural capital. Reading is such an important life skill that it is imperative we enable them to become independent readers who can easily process information, fully engage in all learning and be well-prepared for their next stage of their education.
By the end of KS1, children will be fluent at decoding, and we aim for children to be able to:
- Read with confidence, fluency and good understanding, drawing upon a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;
- Have an interest in a reading for enjoyment and pleasure;
- Acquire a wide vocabulary;
- Meet age related expectations for reading, with the aspiration to exceed them.
Early Reading at Shalford Infant & Nursery School
We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Letters & Sounds.
In the Nursery we teach early reading skills by focusing on developing children's speaking and listening skills. The activities we carry out help to develop children's awareness of rhyme and alliteration and to listen carefully to words and sounds in words. We use the Phase One activities from the Letters & Sounds teaching programme as the basis for our planning. We encourage a love of books by providing a rich range of texts for the children to share with staff and peers and to access individually. These cover a wide range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poems and rhymes. Once they have settled in the children visit the school library each week to choose a book to take home and return the following week.
Right from the start of Reception children have a daily phonics lesson which follows the progression for Letters & Sounds and this continues in Year One to ensure children become fluent readers.
We teach phonics for 25 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. Four new phonemes and their corresponding graphemes are taught (GPCs) each week, and they are then used in the final lesson of the week to review the week’s learning. Children will also learn tricky words during these sessions.
In the Autumn and Spring term, Reception learn phase 2 and phase 3 GPCs and then will spend the final term learning phase 4.
Year One begin the Autumn term with 2 weeks of revision of phases 2, 3 and 4 before learning phase 5, which will be completed by the end of the year. Year Two children will begin the year by revisiting phase 5 and other previously taught phases to ensure all children are completely confident with applying these GPCs in both their reading and also their writing.
Half termly assessments take place through Reception and Year One to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom, so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ intervention.
For support with the pronunciation of the phonemes taught, please refer to this video.
Supporting your child with reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
There are two types of reading book that your child will bring home in Reception, Year One and Year Two:
Reading practice book
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.
Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, ask them to decode (sound it out) and blend it. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
Sharing (library) book
In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book, from our school library, is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.
Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. In addition, after reading the book you can pick out some words and help them to expand their vocabulary by discussing alternatives for these words. The main thing is though that you have fun!#