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Reading & Phonics

At Tregolls Academy, we aspire to ensure that we have sparked a light for children in reading. We are passionate that every child leaves a confident, fluent and enthusiastic reader, having developed their own unique tastes and preferences and for whom reading is an inherent part of their learning and their life beyond school -  today and for the world of tomorrow. To achieve this, children need a solid foundation in phonics and to be immersed in quality texts, drawn from diverse genres, text types and cultures, and story-telling from an early age right through to Year 6.

We want children to understand the potential of words to ‘make you think, dream and ask questions’ and to develop and deepen their understanding of the diverse world around them and their place in it as Cornish and global citizens. By highlighting the power of words, we make creative links between reading, writing and oracy so that the language children are exposed to in reading enriches their work in the wider curriculum.

How do we make sure that reading is at the heart of our school?

  • Each classroom has a selection of high-quality books as a mini library with a selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
  • A designated reading area promotes a love of books.
  • We endeavour to use books and high-quality texts to enrich the learning and provide access to a range of genres.
  • Access to high quality books provided by The Library Project book service and library van ensure a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry are constantly updated and used to enrich the whole curriculum.
  • Teachers model the excitement that reading/story-telling brings when reading aloud.
  • Through the Accelerated Reader programme children have access to high quality and engaging texts to help them become life-long readers.
  • Our school library is a vibrant, welcoming place full of high-quality books 
  • We encourage our children to use our school library on a weekly basis and to visit the local library - organising whole class visits at least once a year.
  •  Reading skills sessions take place in each class every week to ensure that every pupil is in a group reading session at least once a week. These sessions are 45 minutes long.
  • All pupils are heard individually to read at least once a week.
  • All pupils who need extra support are also heard individually to read at school.
  • Early reading is encouraged by providing pupils with non-worded reading books in the first instance.
  • Daily phonics sessions following Read Write Inc programme enable children to develop their phonic knowledge and decoding skills.
  • Once they have developed their phonics and decoding skills they are then moved on to texts that match their phonic ability and learning and are fully decodable.
  • All Pupils take home either a phonic book matched to their ability or and Accelerated Reader book and a ‘Sharing Book’ to encourage reading for pleasure.

How do we promote a love of reading?

  • All staff are expert readers, modelling reading skills, discussing texts read with the pupils and sharing their own love of reading.
  • Teachers model the excitement that reading/story-telling brings when reading aloud – immersing them in the world of books.
  •  Our learning opportunities incorporate a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, to expose pupils to different texts they may enjoy.
  •  Reading skills sessions allow all pupils to share books together with adults and their peers, discussing their reading, helping them to make sense of what they have read and to share their thoughts and ideas about it.
  •  Pupils are encouraged to access the vibrant library and change books on a regular basis. 
  •  We celebrate World Book Day, Pyjamarama day and each year group organises a yearly book linked events/trip.
  • Webinars with authors are organised so that children are exposed to different authors.
  •  Visits to the library allow children to become immersed in literature and the opportunity to read more diverse books.

 How do we make sure children make progress?

  • Phonics is taught consistently following the Read Write Inc progression to ensure a systematic approach. Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply. Planning includes assessment for the graphemes taught. Phonics is continually assessed to identify gaps which are addressed the same day. Read Write Inc is a fluid scheme, children are assessed regularly and then moved up to a new group accordingly to ensure rapid progress is made.
  • Read Write Inc sessions happen daily.
  • Across the school pupils are supported in becoming expert readers by developing the key skills of clarifying, questioning, explaining, retrieval, summarising and predicting. 
  • Children accessing the Accelerated Reader scheme take a comprehension quiz at the end of each book and this informs the teachers of their level and therefore children can progress rapidly.
  • Pupils who are less confident with decoding skills (preventing them from accessing reading material) have targeted interventions or are part of a smaller reading group.
  • Pupils who need further opportunity to practise reading because they do not read at home, are given priority to read to an adult in school
  • Whole school termly data collection enables staff and senior leaders to track progress from EYFS through to Year 6.
  • Staff have tracking meetings where support for children is discussed.

How do we match the children’s books to their reading ability?

  • At the start of their reading journey, in Foundation Stage, all the children have Lilac books (with no words).
  • From this point onwards regular assessment ensures that books are matched to children’s phonic knowledge.
  • Interventions are put in place as soon as the assessments are complete to ensure the children who need support 'catch up'.
  • Children’s love of reading will be encouraged simultaneously through the sharing books that they bring home to read/enjoy with parents/carers.
  • Weekly individual and guided reading with the Class Teacher/TA ensures that children are developing both their reading fluency and comprehension.
  • Accelerated Reader comprehension quizzes allow teachers to track children’s comprehension skills and match books according to their ability.

How do we teach phonics from the start?

  • We teach phonics through the Read Write Inc phonics programme 
  • From the very start, in the Early Years Foundation Stage, there is a key focus on speaking and listening. Children are taught to tune into and talk about sounds, to support the development of their auditory memory, vocabulary and language comprehension.  This lays the foundations for children to develop their knowledge of letters and sounds in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, and the skills to segment and blend sounds to read and write words.
  • The teaching of phonics is rigorous, systematic, pacey and consistent.

How do we support pupils to catch up?

  • Our robust assessments ensure the children read decodable books that match their phonics level, enabling them to become confident, fluent readers.
  • Trained staff use Read Write Inc phonics to provide regular intervention.
  • Children needing additional support are quickly identified and regular bespoke interventions are put in place to ensure rapid progress.
  • Pupils who are less confident with decoding skills (preventing them from accessing reading material) have targeted interventions or are part of a smaller reading group.
  • Pupils who need further opportunity to practise reading because they do not read at home, are given priority to read to an adult in school.

How do we train staff to be reading experts?

  • Teaching staff, including Teaching Assistants receive reading and phonics training as and when required. This may be a specific focus on the SDP or a personal target identified in performance management or specific training identified by staff. This may include in-house training or external training depending on the needs of the staff.
  • The Headteacher, School Improvement Partner and the Literacy Team monitor guided reading sessions and conduct pupil conferencing to ensure agreed approaches and consistency are applied across the school.
  • The English lead and Read Write Inc lead monitor the teaching of phonics and reading and offers guidance to staff with follow up actions.

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