The context of our school
At Modbury Primary School we believe that it is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of their background.
Daily phonics lessons are delivered through our new phonics programme, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This high-quality programme and the teaching of phonics within our school helps to provide our children with the necessary skills so that they are able to decode and become fluent readers with a secure understanding. Pupils in KS1 are provided with books that are closely matched to their phonic abilities so that they can be successful when practising their reading. We aim to build a community of engaged readers for all of our pupils and parents, incorporating visits to our school libraries and bookshops to provide a range of opportunities for our pupils to share their love for reading. Teachers support children in catching up quickly by using ongoing assessments and targeted interventions through our Little Wandle Keep Up programme. We want to ensure that the highest number of children pass the phonics screening check, with expectations that are aspirational yet achievable.
How do we achieve our intentions?
We view reading as an entitlement for all, and that reading is key to academic success, which is supported by research by the EEF (Education Endowment Foundation). Early reading and phonics is a vital part of our curriculum as it provides pupils with transferable skills that they can apply across the curriculum. Our reading curriculum ensures that children read within and outside of reading lessons, where they can read for a range of purposes: reading for practice, reading for pleasure and reading for meaning. High quality phonics teaching provides children with skills to learn how to read (reading for practice), which enhances reading for meaning and makes reading more pleasurable.
A systematic approach
We have chosen to use a DfE validated synthetic phonics programme called ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ The programme is a systematic, synthetic approach to teaching phonics with clear expectations that are laid out term by term from Reception to Year 1. In Year 2, phonics lessons are planned to help all children to move from Little Wandle decodable texts to guided sessions focussing on comprehension and No Nonsense spelling lessons.
Access to appropriate books
The programme provides high quality decodable texts published by Harper Collins that match the graphemes the children have been taught. This ensures that the children apply their phonetic knowledge when writing and reading.
In addition, we use the Devon Library Service to provide our pupils with a sharing book to take home. These books are high quality texts and provide opportunities for pupils to share fiction, non-fiction or picture books at home.
Daily reading practice
In Reception and Year 1, the children have three reading practice sessions each week. Each reading practice focuses on either decoding, prosody or comprehension. All staff carrying out these sessions have been fully trained to ensure that there is a consistent and clear approach to teaching reading. In Year 2, pupils reading the Little Wandle books also have three reading practice sessions. Guided reading is also in place for children in Year 2 who aren’t on decodable books to ensure fluency and comprehension before moving on to Accelerated Reader. Our lowest 20% read at least once more a week with teachers or TAs. All children are able to share their Little Wandle decodable book with parents and carers at home.
Support to catch up
Embedded in to the programme are 6 weekly assessment tasks which allow teachers to quickly identify any children that may need extra support. Children who require additional phonics are carefully planned for by assessing their individual gaps and using the Little Wandle Keep-up programme.
Reading for Pleasure
‘Children need access to texts that reflect the lives that they are living and take them to new worlds and introduce them to new people – real and imagined’ (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, 2022)
Developing a love of reading is at the heart of our curriculum. At Modbury Primary School we aspire for all pupils to be excited about books and words so that pupils can apply their understanding across the curriculum. Pupils are read to daily. These books have been carefully selected so that pupils listen to and experience a wide range of fiction, non-fiction graphic novels, audio books and poetry books.
Reading corners and libraries
All classrooms have a reading corner which the pupils access daily. These books are continually refreshed by the Devon Library Service.
In Reception and KS1 children have an individual reading record. The parent/ carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults in school will in them on a regular basis to ensure commination and books that the children have read in school.
In our reading assembly, children share a text of their choice every week. They share ideas for book choices and recommend authors.
Reading for Pleasure events
At Modbury Primary School we hold regular book events to engage all pupils with reading across the school These include:
- Book fairs – postal book fair, school book fairs
- Sponsored reads to buy books for the schoo
- National events, National Poetry Day, World Book Day, World Poetry Week, Empathy Week, Maths week, Numeracy Day, Black History Month, Pride Day
- Reading assemblies
- Links with our local library to support reading challenges
- Reading buddies - paired reading between classes
- Daily reading across the school
Assessments are used to monitor pupils progress and to quickly identify any gaps within learning.
- Daily assessment for learning is used:
- Within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- Weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
- Summative assessment for Reception and Year 1 is used:
- Every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- By SLT to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
- A placement assessment is used:
- The Rapid Catch Up assessment is used:
- With any child new to the school in Year 2
- To quickly identify any gaps in pupils' phonic knowledge
- To plan and provide appropriate extra teaching
- To support pupils beyond Year 2 with their phonic knowledge
- Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.