At Forest Glade, we celebrate reading throughout every phase of a child’s development. Our children’s reading journey begins in the Early Years, where children are exposed to daily phonic instruction and oral story telling. This is further enhanced through Launchpad reading lessons. This is further built on in Year One, where the children enjoy texts as a class and further enhance their understanding of texts. This then grows into appreciating texts at greater depth and analysing them in greater detail, using Complete Comprehension as a vehicle to deliver our reading lessons from Year 2 to 6.
It is important to us at Forest Glade that our curriculum is vocabulary rich, so teachers read carefully chosen texts to the children every day. The children are exposed to a wide range of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more exciting words this way and it also inspires their writing.
How do we teach reading in Nursery?
In Nursery, we enjoy listening to stories, learn lots of new language through stories and play. Through their phonics lessons, our Nursery children develop the pre-phonic skills that will give them a solid foundation for learning to read and spell. This includes the skills of Sound Discrimination; Body Percussion; Alliteration; Rhyme and Rhythm; Voice Sounds and Oral Segmenting and Blending. Starting in the later part of Autumn Term, the year the children also have a Code of the Week. This is taught through the use of Teeny Reading Seed resources, which feeds into the No Nonsense Phonics Skills SSP the children start with in Reception.
How do we teach reading in Reception and Key Stage 1?
We start our phonics lessons right from the beginning of our children’s Reception journey. We use teach phonics using No Nonsense Phonics Skills (NNPS) resources to ensure consistency and a high-level of challenge in our children’s phonics journey. The children progress from mastering simple to more complex alphabetic code, which the children apply at both word and text level. The children also practise reading (and spelling) common exception words, such as ‘the,’ ‘said,’ ‘once’ and ‘where’.
The NNPS programme itself contains matched decodable texts which the children use for both reading and spelling practise, but we also send home Big Cat Phonics decodable books to consolidate the phonics that has been previously taught. The children practise their independent reading with these fully decodable books that match the phonics and the common exception words they have already been taught. They are empowered to apply the skills they have been taught to read their decodable book with confidence and fluency.
How do we teach reading from Year 2 to Year 6?
From Year 2 to Year 6 the children learn to appreciating texts at a greater depth and analyse them in greater detail, using Complete Comprehension as a vehicle to deliver our reading lessons. This scheme has been adapted to suit the needs of the school and our lesson design approach, with a huge focus on vocabulary and the children being active readers.
Children are exposed to high quality, age-appropriate texts throughout reading lessons. Our texts are also chosen based on the richness of learning they bring to our specific reading skills. We aim to cover a wide variety of authors, genres and topics to broaden our children’s horizons and widen their children’s cultural capital. In lesson one, children explore the vocabulary in the text, breaking down any issues in terms of understanding. In lesson two, the children discuss the text as a whole, making sense of it so that they can access lesson 3 and 4, where the children learn a specific reading skill, linked to comprehension. These skills are constantly revisited throughout the year. They are: word meaning, retrieval, summarising, inference, prediction, relationships (in terms of structure and characters), word choice, author intent and comparison.
How do I know the teaching will be effective?
All staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it at Forest Glade and we work closely with the Flying High English Hub to ensure our phonics and reading teaching practices are up to date. We believe that it is very important that all teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. The Early Reading, Reading Lead and Senior Leadership Team observe and support other teachers teaching phonics and Reading sessions to ensure that teaching is effective.
How can parents help?
From Reception, children will bring two books home from school. One will be a decodable book, based on the phonics codes they have been taught and the other a Reading for Pleasure book, which is for children and parents to share and enjoy together at home. As children move through school and complete their phonics programme of study, they will then only bring home a Reading for Pleasure book as they will no longer require a phonically decodable text.
One of the best ways you can support your child is to read these books with them at least three times a week to help them improve their fluency and pace. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
When listening to your child read their decodable book, help your child to sound out the codes in words and then to blend the sounds together to make a whole word. Use pure sounds when saying the codes aloud, instead of their letter names. Here is a video which will help with the correct pronunciation of these sounds. https://phonicsinternational.com/hear-the-sounds/
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps them to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
Through our immersive curriculum, children at Forest Glade experience writing woven throughout their topics. This engages children through giving writing a purpose and providing a wide-range of communication opportunities. Through use of our genre progression document and a grammar and punctuation progression document, we ensure children are being challenged appropriately. Our approach has a clear sequence, where our focus is on teaching the craft of writing, which can result in quality outcomes every time. Our lessons are carefully sequenced from the inception of an idea, to the development of vocabulary and the teaching of grammar that leads to effective planning and writing. The Teaching Sequence incorporates the following six stages:
It was developed by Teresa Heathcote, Literacy Consultant, who developed the teaching sequence which has improved outcomes across the board in the schools that implemented it. The approach is informed by the most recent research, including the Education Endowment Foundation and the recent Ofsted Review of English 2022.