Early Reading

At Tor Bridge Primary School, we believe that reading and writing is an essential life skill and are dedicated to enabling our children to become enthused, engaged and successful lifelong readers and writers. To support this, we implement the following:

• Daily Phonics sessions, whereby the children learn new phonemes, improve their ability to segment and blend sounds, and their ability to apply this knowledge into their reading and writing.
• Whole Class Reading sessions whereby the children are exposed to high-quality texts that they can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these, which in turn, inspires the children’s own reading and writing ability.
• All classes are equipped with a wide range of reading books to meet the needs of all children in the classroom which also engage and challenge keen readers.
• Once children, have developed the skill of blending for reading independently, they will take home a reading book that is matched to their reading ability. We expect families at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
• Children in every year group are read to by their teacher every day. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.

How is Early Reading taught at Tor Bridge Primary School?

In practice, children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and are taught how to blend these sounds to decode (read) words. At Tor Bridge Primary School, we follow the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme of teaching. When children start Reception, we introduce them to 25 new phonemes. During this stage the children will learn to recognise, form and use these sounds in simple words to enable them begin to read and write simple words and captions. Once they can independently blend and read words with the sounds they have learnt, they start reading stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. Once secure, the children move on to the next stage whereby they will learn new sounds, alternative spellings and this enables them to read a greater range of texts and improve their reading fluency. Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment.

Throughout Early Years and Key Stage One, children are taught in small and focussed groups to target their specific needs for Phonics, alongside children of the same ability. Children are regularly assessed by the RWI Teachers within phonics lessons and by the Reading Leader every six weeks to ensure they are making
the expected progress. Where progress is slower than expected, one:one tutoring is provided to ensure these children keep up. We make sure that pupils read books that are matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so they experience early reading success and gain confidence that they are readers, as well as consolidating the learning that takes place in school.

All class reading books shared with children have been specifically chosen to support language development, storytelling and to continually develop our children’s love and passion for reading. The Early Years environment has been carefully planned so that it provides opportunities for reading in all areas of the classroom; creating comfortable pockets similar to the environments they experience at home, where children feel comfortable and confident to curl up with a good book.