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Our approach to Early Reading

All Saints’ CE Federation of Academies believes that reading is central to a child’s understanding of the school curriculum and is of vital importance to enable success throughout life. Becoming fluent readers enables our children to access a full range of life experiences and achieve their potential. 

At All Saints, we aim to develop a love and appreciation of reading which will stay with children for life. We hope to achieve this through careful planning and teaching using up-to-date strategies. We use a variety of reading materials and resources within English and Guided Reading sessions, which provide a diverse range of reading experiences.

At All Saints’ CE Federation of Academies, we believe that all our children have the right to become fluent readers and writers, therefore it is paramount that phonics is taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.

We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a variety of different phonemes, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different graphemes that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At All Saints’ we regularly model these strategies in shared reading and writing, as part of our phonics teaching and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects alongside also being an integral part of the new Early Years Framework. 

How we teach phonics at All Saints’ 

  • In the nursery, the focus is on oral blending, listening skills and language development through high quality stories and rhymes. Alongside opportunities to develop these skills through the use of purposeful continuous provision and highly trained staff. 
  • In Foundation Stage 2 (FS2) and KS1, children follow the progression within the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session on a Friday.
  • Phonics teaching begins in FS2 in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start to their reading journey.
  • By the end of FS2, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
  • By the end of year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
  • FS2 lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 20 minutes as soon as possible.
  • Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
  • In Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
  • From FS2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions using the Little Wandle catch-up programme. 

Reading practice sessions

  • Children across FS2, Year 1, Year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session.
  • These sessions are 15/20 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in a group.
  • The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
  • The children then take the same book home to ensure success is shared with the family.
  • In FS2 these sessions start in week 4. Children who are not decoding, complete a blending catch-up lesson, following the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised with the aim that every child is blending by Christmas.

How do we assess phonic knowledge?

  • In FS2 and KS1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
  • Children identified in FS2 and KS1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
  • In FS2 and Year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.
  • The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term and are well prepared for this through termly assessment which is tracked carefully.
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2 and specific intervention is put in place to address gaps in learning.
  • Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through the teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments.

Click on the link below for our phonics and early reading policy.

Phonics and early reading policy 2021