Crabtree Infants School

Phonics and Spelling

 

Phonics (reading and spelling)

At Crabtree, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Crabtree, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

 

Comprehension

At Crabtree, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading and a Phonics Leader who drive the early reading programme in our school. They monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.

 

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

We teach phonics daily. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.

 

Teaching reading in Reception and Year 1: Reading practice sessions three times a week

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:

  • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
  • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’
  • are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
  • Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory.

 

The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

 

Home reading in Reception and Year 1

Celebration book - The decodable reading practice book that the children have been reading in school, is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.

Sharing book - Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.  These are library books chosen by the children.

Practise book – Some parents like an additional book (Rocket Phonics) to practise with their children. 

These are also available.

 

  

Daily phonics lessons in Year 2

The children in Year 2 are now streamed for phonics and spelling to ensure that any gaps that have occurred from the impact of COvid-19 are addressed before moving on.  For any children that did not pass the phonics test or need additional practise, we have a daily phonics lesson for them. To ensure consistency for this academic year, Year 2 children are continuing to use a programme devised by Ann Smalberger (a Literacy Consultant for the Tower Hamlets Phonics Programme). Other children in Year 2 that have completed Phase 6 have daily spelling lessons. 

 

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions once a week

Each reading practice session follows the pattern of the reading sessions in Reception and Year 1. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

  • decoding
  • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
  • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.

 

Home reading - Year 2

Practise book – A decodable reading book that the children can read, matched to the sounds they have learnt and what they are covering in phonics.

Sharing book - Reading for pleasure books go home for parents to share and read to children.  These are library books chosen by the children.

 

 

Ensuring reading for pleasure

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

 

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Crabtree and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
  • In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.