Reading and Phonics
At Brierley we recognise the importance of reading. We understand that a child’s journey to becoming a reader starts with a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics programme which starts with foundations for phonics in nursery where children are taught how to tune in to different sounds and repeat patterns. In Reception and Year 1 our children work through the phonics phases and are taught a new sound each day with the fifth day of each week focusing on recapping and reviewing. Additional phonics teaching takes place daily for any children who need extra practise.
Our reading books are colour banded and each child is given a book which is carefully matched to their phonics knowledge, providing them with the opportunity to practise the sounds they have been taught by reading books at home as well as in school. Once a child is secure in phonics they continue to move through the banded books, accessing a wide range of quality texts appropriate for their age. In addition to this, children take home a ‘share book’ which provides an opportunity for children to share a quality text with an adult. Staff keep a log of what children are reading and support them in choosing books of a wide range of genres and authors.
Our main focus is for our children to have the skills necessary in order to be able to read books as soon as possible and to do so with automaticity, fluency and expression. This is something which is specifically taught in reading lessons and is also encouraged to be practised at home through daily reading with an adult. It is important that our children have a good understanding of what they are reading and the vocabulary they come across in books. Reading skills are taught through group and whole class lessons using texts which are linked to English units of work, topics from other parts of the curriculum and books which have been chosen to suit the interests of the children. Many of these texts can be found in our reading spine. Children are heard on a one-to-one basis as well as during whole class and group choral reading sessions.
Not only do we want our children to be readers but we are also passionate about instilling a love of reading in each and every one of our children. This is modelled by the teachers during daily ‘drop and read’ sessions, where teachers read a book to the children for enjoyment and engage the children in book talk linked to what has been read. Children at Brierley are exposed to a wide range of quality texts, genres and authors with regular opportunities to read throughout the curriculum.
All of our classrooms feature bright, stimulating and inviting book corners for children to sit and read in and we regularly invest in high quality texts for the children. In our book corners you will often find children’s recommendations and reviews of their favourite books. We also have our author focus strategy where we have strategically planned to ensure that by the time children leave us in year 6 they have read many books by significant authors. Our class authors are as follows: Julia Donaldson (EYFS), Alan Ahlberg (Year 1), Mini Grey (Year 2/3), Neil Gaiman (Year 4/5) and Philip Pullman (Year 6). Every year we partake in World Book Day, where everyone, including staff, come to school dressed as their favourite book character for the day. We also invite visitors linked to reading where possible and have links with our local library who either visit us in school or host classes at the library.
We send home levelled books for children across the school to ensure that children are reading books which they can read independently with good fluency, automaticity and comprehension. Our phonics books are levelled in line with our school SSP (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds) and consist of sounds which the children have been taught. Alongside these, children are also provided with 'share books' which are designed to be shared and enjoyed with adult support. Our reading books are levelled by colour and, once completed, the children become free readers. Children’s reading is monitored regularly by the staff and we encourage the children and parents to communicate using their reading diary so that in partnership we can help parents to help their child at home. We hold phonics and reading workshops for parents throughout the year, here we are able to share with parents and carers how we teach phonics and reading at Brierley.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher should you have any questions or queries.
Reading in the Curriculum
We maximise opportunities for reading throughout the curriculum. Using a high quality text as a basis for learning really engages the children and helps to develop quality writing as well as stimulating learning in other areas of the curriculum. Our long term English plans are based around a wide range of quality texts and authors. We also have our reading spine which ensures our children are exposed to a wide range of high quality genres and authors during their time at Brierley.
If you feel that you would like some advice with reading strategies please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Faddes, who will be delighted to help you. (firstname.lastname@example.org)