William Reynolds Primary School is situated on Woodside in the southwest of Telford. The school serves a community which faces considerable social and economic challenges. Woodside is one of the 10% most disadvantaged wards in the UK. In spite of this children have good attitudes to learning and enjoy the involvement in school life. The school is larger than the average sized primary school and is above the national average in terms of Free School Meals and SEN.
The school has seen a sustained upward trend in reading attainment over the past 6 years, showing although many children arrive at the school below age appropriate, more are leaving at age appropriate and many making better than expected progress (2011 – 87% achieving Level 4 and above, 2012 – 95% achieving level 4 and above 2013 – 96% achieving level 4 and above 2014 – 96% achieving level 4 and above.)
We believe that children need to use a range of skills to become a competent reader. As a school, we ensure that children will read phonetically decodable texts until they have reached letters and sounds phase 6 or completed the programme. Children have a range of narrative, non-narrative, poetry and play colour banded books to choose from throughout the school which are matched to the new English curriculum.
The provision for children’s reading is meticulously organised, from when children start in the nursery through to becoming literate 11-year-olds. Teachers read good quality texts to children as part of literacy lessons and story time. All groups have story time at the end of the school day where children listen to a variety of stories read by the class teacher.
Each base has a welcoming reading area with a variety of non-fiction and fiction books. Curriculum targets for reading for each year group are identified on a half term basis and are on display in each classroom.
Children enter nursery with a range of early literacy experiences. The majority of children arrive with language skills well below national averages. The focus for phonics starts with a daily 20 minute session of “Letters and Sounds” supported by actions from the Jolly Phonics scheme. Oxford Reading Tree and Songbird books are used to support these sessions. Phonic skills are taught in a very engaging and practicable way, taking the children through a sequence of phases of phonic development.
Children get to know core books well each half term, and a wide range of resources stimulate interest in reading and writing. Literacy work is extended through imaginative role play.
For the first half term, the focus is given to Phase 1; language skills are developed through songs, games, toys, stories and rhymes. The children who are deemed to be ready are introduced, as a group, Phase 2 to phonics and learn to distinguish between sounds. During these sessions they focus on blending for reading and segmenting for spelling simple CVC words.
Planned “Letters and Sounds” sessions continue through into Reception with the expectation that the majority of children will be secure in Phase 3 by the end of the year. The focus moves on to reading and spelling a wide range of CVC words using all letters and less frequent consonant diagraphs and some long vowel phonemes. Following on from this, children will learn CVC words using a wider range of letters, short vowels and double letters. Staff follow, the suggested Letters and Sounds sequence of teaching: Introduction, revisit and review, teach, practise, apply and assess.
Children are given reading books to take home which are colour banded to match the letters and sounds phases e.g. Phase 3 – Yellow book band. Parents can record and comment on their reading record. The books available for the children to choose from are: My First Phonics, Fun with Phonics, Floppy Phonics and Phonics Bug.
As the year progresses children build up daily 20 minute guided or shared reading sessions. For these sessions children will begin to follow a structured guided reading session using the phonetically decodable scheme Songbirds. Teachers also use story sacks and big books as part of teacher led focus activity.
Key Stage 1
Letters and Sounds continues in Year 1 (daily for 20 minutes), where the children develop their skills at segmenting and blending working through phases 4 to 6. Children in Year 1 are assessed through the phonics-screening in the summer term. Parents can record and comment on their reading record. The books available for the children to choose from are: My First Phonics, Fun with Phonics, Phonics Bug, Comics for Phonics.
Year 2 children complete the letters and sounds with Phase 6 before moving on to the spelling programme for the new curriculum. Any children who did not achieve the expected level in the Year 1 phonic testing, will be supported through a phonic intervention programme and be reassessed at the end of Year 2. . Parents can record and comment on their reading record. The books available for the children to choose from are: Phonics Bug, Bug Club, Comics for Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales, Fireflies and Snapdragons.
A daily, guided reading session takes place for about 25 minutes. A two week timetable is planned, where adults listen to individual readers one week and then a guided read is planned for the second week. A carousal of activities is planned for these sessions to allow the teacher and TA to focus on a small group of children each day and for children to develop their independent reading skills. In Year 1, Bug Club reading scheme is used and in Year 2 Project X.
Early Literacy Support (ELS) is used as an intervention for children in Year 1 who may require extra support with their reading. These sessions take place up to 4 times a week in small groups.
Parent helpers and volunteer readers regularly support reading within our school. Teachers identify individual children who will benefit from a more focussed session.
All children have a wide choice range of independent colour banded fiction and non fiction books to take home. Parents are encouraged to listen to their child read at home and add their comments on a reading record.
Big books and core texts are used to enrich the daily literacy lessons.
Key Stage 2
In Key stage 2 “Letters and Sounds” is used as an intervention for children who require the extra support.
A daily-guided reading session takes place with a range of good quality fiction or non-fiction group sets. A carousal of activities is planned for the guided reading sessions which always include at least: guided teacher focus session, post activity and pleasure for reading. In Year 3, they follow the new Oxford Reading inFact for non-fiction. For fiction they use the Badger Learning which are motivating, age appropriate tests featuring best selling authors including Roald Dahl, Dick King Smith, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Browne and many more of the same calibre. Year 4 & 6 follow the Project X scheme which are highly motivating and engaging books used to stimulate an interest in reading for boys. Year 5 use Four Corners which are a range of non-fiction resources across a range of themes including Science, History and Geography. For narrative they use Oxford Reading Treetops scheme, Manga scheme Level 1 to 3 as well as a range of books from authors such as: Berlie Doherty, Michelle Magorian
All children in Y3 and Y4 are introduced to the local library in Madeley where they are issued with their own library card and visit the library as a class through the school day during each term.
In Year 5 and Year 6 greater emphasis is placed on reading comprehension. Reading comprehension cards are used in Year 5 to introduce the children to short texts with mainly literal questions. During the spring term in Year 6, three daily sessions are taught on comprehension focussing on retelling, literal questioning, inference, deduction and prediction. This ensures the children are fully prepared for the KS2 Reading SATs test in May. Reading intervention groups are organised to support identified children in achieving their targets using the Pearson Rapid Reading programme.
Whole class core books are used for literacy lessons – Year 2 – Peggy’s amazing Ironbridge Adventure, Oliver Jeffers books, The Owl and the Pussy cat and Peter Pan – Year 3 – Beast Quest Ferno the Fire Dragon, Roman Mysteries and The Enormous Turnip – Year 4 – Michael Morpurgo Arthur High King of Britain, Bill’s New Frock, Kapok Tree and Way Home – Year 5 – Beowulf, Street Child and Adventure Island – Year 6 – There’s a boy in the girls’ bathroom, Billy The Kid, Barrowquest, The Giant’s Necklace and Kensuke’s Kingdom.
All children have a wide choice of independent colour banded fiction and non-fiction books to take home. Children are expected to read every night, either independently or with parents/carers. A record of this should be kept in the back of the Home School Diary by children or parents/carers.
Planning and Assessment
All teachers have had training in developing children’s reading skills and assessing progress. There is a consistent planning format for guided reading sessions with an Introduction, Strategy check, independent reading/task and a return/ respond to text. Evaluations are made on the same planning grid.