At Widnes Academy West Bank we want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. Reading permeates everything we do here and it is at the heart of our curriculum offer.
How we teach Reading
In the Foundation Stage children’s reading is taught through the application of phonics. They experience a variety of text types and are encouraged to understand the elements of a story. Children sequence parts of a shared story and discuss what they know about the characters.
During Key Stage 1 the children are encouraged to form an interest in and take pleasure from a variety of text types. They are taught a range of strategies to decode words, with an emphasis on phonological knowledge and word building skills. They are encouraged to express their opinions about the books they read, giving reasons for their answers and indicate their comprehension of texts through adult questioning and group discussion.
Throughout Key Stage 2 the children will be encouraged to read independently and for the intrinsic enjoyment of reading. They read a range of texts and materials and use their knowledge of words, sentences and texts to form an understanding and make appropriate responses. They have opportunities to read a variety of text types, varying in length, genre and complexity, to provide them with sufficient challenge.
Through whole class guided reading sessions children are encouraged attempt much more difficult texts to challenge and develop their skills. During this time we are able to see the children’s confidence growing as they begin to understand that they are able to read. We check the children’s reading skills regularly to ensure that they are working at the appropriate level.
At Widnes Academy we do not follow one scheme to allow the children to experience a wider variety of text. We ask that to support the children’s reading skills they read these books each evening at home. Our recently purchased Reading Eggs is an online enhancement to our reading resources and allows children to log on at home and share texts at the appropriate level with built in comprehension activities to further extend their skills.
At Widnes Academy we follow the Phonics Bug Teaching Programme for Phonic lessons which is a validated scheme. From Nursery to Year 2 the children are placed into Phonics phase groups linked to their individual needs. The children spend 20 minutes each morning with their Phonics Phase completing phonics tasks. The expectations for children at each phase are as follows
Phase 1- The activities are mainly adult led and encourage children within The Early Years Foundation Stage to develop speaking and listening skills, develop language skills, introduce the children to oral blending and segmenting of sounds within words (for example identifying words which begin with the same sound) and support children to explore the sounds around them.
Phase 2- The children will begin to learn the 19 letter sounds and will begin to blend and segment letters to read words. These letters include s,a,t,p,I,n,m, d,g,o,e,k,ck,e,u,r,h,b,f,ff,l,ll and ss,
Phase 3- During this Phase the children learn another 25 letter sounds most of them composing two letters. These letters include j,v,w,x,y,z,zz,qu,ch,sh,th,ng,ai,ee,igh,oa,oo,ar,or,ur,ow,oi,ear,air,ure and er.
Phase 4- During this phase the children will consolidate their knowledge of previously learnt sounds and will be encouraged to write the letters which represent these sounds.
Phase 5- During this phase the children have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of letter sounds and begin to focus on alternative pronunciations of sounds. Children will be supported to understand which letters to use to create a sound.
Phase 6- During this phase the children have the opportunity to consolidate all previous learnt sounds and will move on to focusing on different spelling patterns.
At the end of Year 1 all children are required to complete a statutory Phonics Screening check. During this check the children are asked to apply their phonetic knowledge to read and decode a selection of real and made up words. The scores from this test are reported to the Local Authority and also the parents. Any children who do not achieve the pass mark in Year 1 will be required to re-sit in Year 2.