At Chalfont St Peter Infant School, 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 Year R and follow the Little Wandle Letter 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 the school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Chalfont St Peter Infant School, 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.
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.
Daily Phonics Lessons
We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Year R, 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. Children make a strong start in Year R: teaching of Phase 2 sounds begins in Week 2 of the Autumn Term. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress. Children in Year R are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy. Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPC’s with fluency and accuracy. Children in Year 2 continue to build their phonic knowledge through daily phonics practise, revising Phase 5, teaching Phase 6 and the additional requirements of the National Curriculum such as homophones, possessive apostrophes and contractions.
Daily Keep-Up Lessons- To ensure every child learns to read
Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning. Any child who needs additional practise has daily keep-up support, taught by a fully trained member of staff.
Teaching Reading: Reading practice session three times a week
We teach children to read through reading sessions three times a week. These are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children. In these sessions, we use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge. The reading sessions 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 session have been designed to focus on three reading skills, decoding, prosody (teaching children to read with understanding and expression) and comprehension (teaching children to understand the text). In Year R these session start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents/carers to share and read with the children.
Ensuring Consistency and Pace of Progress
Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load. Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme. Lesson templates, prompt cards and how-to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.
Ensuring Reading for Pleasure
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 Chalfont St Peter Infant School 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 select these books and talk about them to entice children to read wide range of books. In Year R children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed. The school library is available on weekly basis for each class. Across the read children have regular opportunities to engage in a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events such as World Book Day and Book Swaps.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
Phonics Screening Check
All Year 1 children will participate in a Phonics Screening Check. This is an assessment of individual children's decoding skills and confirms whether they have attained the required standard. Any child who finds the assessment challenging will have a further chance to participate in Year 2 where support will be given.
Phonics Screening Results for Chalfont St Peter Infant School