The Teaching of Phonics
When your child begins in Reception s/he will begin learning phonics, which is the
code used for reading. This will involve learning individual sounds and being able
to hear and say these sounds in words. They will learn to read and write the 44 phonemes
(sounds) used in the English language. Children are also taught how to blend and
segment sounds in order to read and write simple words.
Some words cannot be easily
blended and are called ‘tricky words’, which children must be able to read by sight.
These will be taught to the children.
High frequency words which appear in early reading
books will be sent home with children so they can practise speed reading and recognising
and finding these words in their reading books.
Reading Audit Updated November 2014
The teaching of reading skills and the encouragement of a love of reading is a high
priority at Balladen School.
The updated audit carried out in November shows present practice throughout the school.
- Reading process is discussed with parents at the initial meeting in school and on
home visits prior to the children starting school.
- A reading diary is provided, 45 High Frequency Word card and the first 7 words. These
words are made up from the letters taught in phase 2 of letters and sounds.
- Progress is individual with children being given the next set of words by any adult
working in the classroom or request by parent.
- It is the aim of the reception class to listen to each child read every day. This
is dependent on the number of adults -paid and voluntary working in the classroom.
- Reading is taught through big books, guided reading,letters and sounds programme,classroom
walls and individual support.
- A reading environment is encouraged in the classroom –baskets of books, reading area
with bean bags, deckchairs etc. The children enter the classroom in the morning and
sit on the carpet for 15 mins enjoying books chosen by themselves and shared with
friends or an adult.
- If a child is not reading regularly at home, because parents come into the classroom
morning and evening it is easy to approach parents and enquire as to why it isn’t
- Reading has been taken outdoors into the outside classroom.
This practice of teaching reading is continued and extended throughout Key Stage
1 and Key Stage 2.
From Year 1 onwards all teachers are provided with a Daily Reading List of children
who are not reading at home or are progressing at a slower rate than their peers.
Phonic sessions Monday – Thursday.
- Reading Books are changed when ever the book is finished.
- Specific guided reading sessions during literacy lessons.
- All children are listened to in class at least twice a week.
- SAT’s Level 2 reading comprehension assessment is given to the higher ability children
in the Summer Term.
- Reading Comprehension tasks are given to the HA in the Summer Term.
- Wordshark/ Literacy Box and Phonics Play are the main ICT programmes used.
- A reading area with cushions, books etc.
- Basket of Books on the carpet 8.45-9.00.
- If children are not reading at home, parents are approached which is then followed
up by a letter from the Head Teacher.
We realise as a school that there will always be a small minority of children who
do not regularly read at home. These children are catered for in school.
- Book worms are displayed on the window for children who have read at least 4 times
in one week.
- Specific children are targeted to read to volunteers who come into the classroom
in an afternoon.
- During assembly, reading comprehension is taught on a rolling programme to ensure
it is not the same children who miss the assembly.
- Daily discrete phonics lessons.
- Repetition during literacy lessons of HF words,word families,sentence structure etc.
- Children who have been identified by Salford Reading Test and School Tracking systems
as falling behind are taught skills through the Toe by Toe programme. School has
invested money in a T A to carry out this programme.
- T A in Year 2 has specific duties – IEP work with PP / LA SEN children
- H A Termly assessments through SAT’s.
- Grammar skills are taught with HA children in the Autumn Term which will progress
to all ability groups throughout the year.
All Key Stage 2 classes have class readers – one book per term.
The catch up programme toe by toe is run for children in every KS2 class.
In class, weekly records are made of children who have read 4 times or more and the
% read out in assembly. In all KS2 classes, golden time is the reward for reading.
- Daily word work sessions for all class –differentiated.
- Individual children listened to read during assembly by teacher and TA’s.
- Extra reading for targeted children by TA’s/ volunteers in the afternoon.
- Comprehension skills taught as a discrete lesson every Thursday.
- Silent reading/Phonics for everyone -10 mins at the end of the day.
- A reading area in class.
- A daily session 20- 30 mins which normally takes place after lunch. The children
are in reading groups (mixed ability up to Level 3.) Level 3 writers are grouped
together. Every reading session the children either do ICT, Free Reading, Creative
Area, Silent Reading, Class Diary (only Level 3 AGT). During this session the class
teacher listens to children read and the TA listens to children read from the daily
reading list. All comments are recorded in a reading file.
- When children are benchmarked, it is Mrs Pickup’s job to move children up to a different
- A TA has been employed to teach daily discrete phonic lessons - Phase 3 onwards,
taking children from Year 3 and 4.
- Phonic displays are up and used in both classrooms.
- “Early Work “– High Frequency Words are written and read.
- Discrete comprehension lesson taught every Friday.
- Nuture Time has been introduced to engage able but reluctant readers.
Year 5 and 6
The practice in the lower classes is mirrored in Years 5 and 6.
- An Individual Reading Support Programme is administered by a teacher to children
who are not reaching their full potential.
- Children are very much involved in decision making as there is a lot of emphasis
on children enjoying reading –e g a shelf of boy friendly books has been created
after listening to the boys.
- Reading games, boggle, scrabble etc are encouraged.
Books have been banded throughout school. Each colour has an assessment sheet. A
best fit approach is adopted and as children move through the levels appropriate
assessments are made. These assessments are recorded on the “colour” sheets and are
passed onto the receiving class teacher.
Half termly assessments are made for children in the school who are reading books
levelled by colours. These are recorded in the tracking file.
SAT assessments are carried out at the end of every term in KS2. The Salford Reading
Test is administered twice a year. PIP’s are administered in the Reception Class
on entry and at the end.
Diane and Lynsey to meet regularly to decide where we go next:-
- Develop a Reading Action Plan with all staff to have an impact on comprehension.
- Contact library for every class to visit in Spring Term.
- Judith to purchase magazines and comics for Sensory Room.
- Contact an author to visit in Spring Term.
- Audit Junior Library – involve children.
- Reading Club aimed at children who just want to read!
The Teaching of Reading in
Foundation and Key Stage 1
The children are given reading
books from the start of Reception and are encouraged to listen to the story, identify
characters or discuss ‘what happens next?’ by using picture clues and finding some
of the high frequency words the children have started to learn.
Books are levelled into colour bands according to level of difficulty and at Balladen
we use a variety of schemes; fiction and non-fiction books.
Children will start to learn comprehension skills, understanding story sequence,
structure, language and characters. They will look at different types of text: story,
information, poetry and rhyme.
The teaching of reading will be done through:
- Shared reading using big books with the whole class or groups of children.
- Guided reading where children work in a small group and look at the same text and
practise decoding text and answering comprehension type questions.
- Independent reading.
You can find our English Policy by visiting our
All About Us\ Policies & Procedures
The Reading Levels Progression & Record Document is available on the same page
or by clicking:
Reading Levels Progression & Record Document