Reading and Phonics
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
Learning to be a reader is the most important journey of your life. We help children to share our passion for reading to become life-long readers.
Every member of staff is committed to the belief that that reading, and particularly reading for pleasure, is the most important skill a child can learn. Reading helps each child to make sense of their world and helps them to discover new worlds, new possibilities and opportunities to develop their knowledge, understanding, interests and aspirations.
At Newlyn School, we invest in high quality texts for all children. We provide high quality guided reading texts for the children to share with the class teacher and are committed to continue to invest in books in the years to come. We have a range of up-to-date books on current affairs for children to make sense of their place in their physical and political world so that they discover their interests in the world beyond their locality.
Our library is a beautiful space reserved for children to read with adults, to each other, attend reading sessions and take part in book activities. We run a book club for children to listen to stories and one to challenge our more able readers.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald
We believe in the value of daily reading at home and understand that it has a huge impact on their progress not only in reading, but in all other curriculum areas. Through our Pyjama Parties, we will continue to support parents with this, sharing ideas and resources with them so that they can facilitate this.
At Newlyn School we use a systematic approach to teach children to read. Daily phonics sessions, driven by the government approved Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme, begin in the nursery where children are taught how to be good speakers and listeners and to make and differentiate between sounds. In the EYFS and KS1 children continue with daily phonics lessons, using the synthetic phonics approach which teaches them the pure sounds that individual and groups of letters make.
We use a range of engaging resources, to ensure that these sessions are fun and interactive for pupils. At the same time as learning sounds, children are taught how to blend them together for reading and to segment them for spelling. We offer a range of reading books, matched to our phonics programme, to ensure there is something to match all pupils’ interests. The books are grouped into coloured “bands” and the pupils’ book bands are closely matched to their current phonic attainment, allowing them to consolidate their existing skills whilst practising new ones.
School based research:
Over the years, we have gained an insight to successful reading through trial and error and introducing a number of initiatives to incentivise children and parents. We have concluded that the most effective way to encourage reading for pleasure (and therefore a raise in standards) is to closely monitor the individual child’s book choices and reading journey.
The guidance for matching the book to the child is closely monitored by all staff throughout their time at Newlyn School, so that every child is reading for pleasure, picking a text suitably challenging for their age and interests. We have reading specialist in school who is library based, and takes groups of children for gifted and talented sessions, but also focusses on inspiring readers who find reading challenging or are disengaged. This investment has changed the way countless children feel about reading and as a result they feel confident about all areas of their school life. See case study Appendix 1.
“You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me.” Strickland Gillian
- The systematic teaching of Phonics from EYFS - daily sessions for 30 minutes extra to the daily English lesson using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.
- Parents information, workshops, whole school “pyjama parties” phonics awareness and links to books and spellings, parent readers involved in individual practise
- Monitoring and tracking of children’s progress in reading
- Responses to those children who are disengaged or unable to practise at home through sessions with our Reading Champion
- Matching of books to phonics and reading skills and plus other areas of the curriculum
- Heavy investment in the highest quality, up-to-date texts and library books
- Systematic teaching of comprehension skills which feed and relate to all areas of the curriculum and always linked to writing.
- Classrooms have reading areas which links to topics with a selection of books to match a range of abilities, skills and interests
The Reading curriculum is evaluated through:
- Analysis of Phonics and AR assessment information
- Analysis of phonics assessments
- Formal and informal assessments of reading
- Pupil book-talk and conferencing