At Ark Atwood, we teach pupils to read through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. This programme is designed to teach pupils between the ages of 4 to 8 to read. Pupils will be part of the phonics programme until they are confident readers; reading around 80- 100 words per minute. This is a complete literacy programme taught for 45 minutes a day in Reception and 50 minutes a day in Year 1 and above.
Children learn the English alphabetic code: initially learning one way to read 40+ sounds and blending these sounds into words, then learning to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. The children write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they know. They practise handwriting every day: sitting at a table comfortably, they learn correct letter formation and how to join letters speedily and legibly. Children’s composition (ideas, vocabulary and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they read.
Young readers develop at different rates and the ability of readers in a class can vary therefore we set our pupils by ability for these sessions only. Regular assessment allows us to track our pupil’s attainment and therefore our phonics groups are regularly reviewed and changed. We aim to ensure 100% of pupils pass the year one phonics screening check.
Further information can be found here RWI Session For Parents.pdf
In order to prepare children for the rigours of literary life beyond the primary age, children are exposed to texts of steadily increasing challenge. Whilst all readers may not develop at the same rate, it is nevertheless important that children read a range of texts about things that are unfamiliar to them. The Reading Spine is designed to appeal to children’s imagination – texts rich in language that introduce formal and longer sentences. It is these text types that prepare children for tackling classics later on.
Text is read each day in order to methodically break it down and build resilience – analysing the vocabulary, language, characters and settings. Throughout the reading week, children are required to interrogate the text by:
1. Answering a series of sequenced questions – moving from those that are text-dependent though to those that require children to draw on their inference skills – reading ‘between the lines’.
2. Ordering events in the text and summarising it in their own words.
3. Developing opinions on the text – what they liked or didn’t like, and any questions they have about the text (what they would like to find out)
4. Building connections between texts – thinking about the ‘secret strings’ between the current text, and any other texts they have read. Children are encouraged to make links between stories – thinking about common themes, similar characters or plots.
5. Finally, a written response to the ‘bigger picture’ – the main theme of the text. To develop oracy skills, children take part in debates – articulating opinions with justifications from the text.
Reading at Home