Here at Woodlands, we put reading at the heart of our curriculum as it is the key to unlocking potential and a world of learning. All children from Nursery to Year 6 are read to everyday using a range of high-quality texts.
Teachers also carefully select texts to enhance learning opportunities across all areas of the curriculum from Nursery to Year 6.
The children begin their phonics journey in Nursery, where they begin by practising their speaking and listening skills.
These skills are broken into seven aspects:
1) environment sounds
2) instrumental sounds
3) body percussion
4) rhythm and rhyme
6) voice sounds
7) oral blending and segmenting
At Woodlands, we follow our own phonics scheme which we have designed using ‘Read Write Inc’ as a base. Our scheme is high-quality, systematic and allows the children to make good progress. Our children consistently achieve above national expectations in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check each year.
The children are taught new sounds (phonemes) alongside the written letter (grapheme) and an action. Each grapheme has its own rhyme to help the children to learn the correct letter formation. E.g., a – “round the apple, down the leaf”
A typical lesson:
Review – previously taught sounds and tricky words are recapped
Teach – a new phoneme is taught alongside the grapheme, action and letter formation rhyme
Practise – the children practise reading words containing the new grapheme
Apply – the children apply their new skills in a reading or writing activity
Children from Reception to Year 2 are given decodable reading books that match the sounds that have been taught in phonics lessons. This enables the children to practise their blending skills as well as opportunities to recognise the graphemes they have been taught. Decodable books help the children to gain confidence in their reading ability, as they are able to read every word using their existing phonics knowledge.
As the children become fluent and able readers, they will begin the Accelerated Reader programme. All children have a daily designated timetable slot for reading and those on the Accelerated Reading programme will read books matched to their level of comprehension. Once a book is completed, the children will take a quiz before moving onto the next level or choose another book. We strongly value and promote children reading at home and recommend that children read every day.
We have an extensive library, full of exciting books and a dedicated librarian to support the children in their choices. Children from Nursery to Year 6 visit the library and borrow books to read for pleasure. Our library is open to all children every lunchtime.
At Woodlands, we value story time and see it as a valuable and powerful part of our school day. It is through stories that the children can be transported to magical lands and far off places. It is through stories that children can learn about other cultures, beliefs and backgrounds. It is through stories that children can learn about and deepen their understanding of emotions. Story time also allows for language and vocabulary to develop.
With this in mind, each half term we carefully select 5 high-quality texts to add to classrooms (Nursery – Year 2) for the teachers to read to the children, and for the children to enjoy independently. These books are read over and over again as each time the book is read, the children’s familiarity deepens, and with that, comes a greater emotional engagement.