Reading at Woods Loke
At Woods Loke Primary School, we know that learning to read opens up a whole new world for our children to learn through and enjoy. Click on the headings below to find out more about the Woods Loke Reading Offer:
Teaching Reading - Phonics
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write by developing their phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate different sounds used in the English language. Children learn the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them.
At Woods Loke Primary School, we place a strong emphasis on the teaching of phonics in the early years of reading and writing in order to give all children a solid
foundation for learning. Because not all words in the English language
comply to the rules of phonics we also teach so-called ‘sight words’ by
repetition and retrieval. Children need to be taught the skills of reading.
We do this in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 through structured and
clearly sequenced daily teaching of Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP)
lessons and activities.
These are further embedded through independent learning. The sessions
are short, engaging and memorable with an emphasis placed on revising
a previously learned letter-sound correspondence, learning a new one,
practicing this, and applying it to sentence level work.
The teaching of phonics begins in Nursery and Reception using ‘Letters and Sounds’. Sounds are introduced at the rate of 2-4 a week throughout the autumn and spring term and children consolidate these sounds in the summer term, whilst also learning to blend the sounds together to read and write words. In Years 1 and 2, the children follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, learning alternative spellings of the previously learned sounds and refining their knowledge to become more fluid readers and more accurate spellers.
Those children aren’t able to pass the phonics check or fall behind, are given focussed support to help them succeed. We also run a catch-up programme to help those pupils who still require phonics support beyond Year 2.
Teaching Reading - Key Reading Skills
From Year 2 onwards, whilst phonic skills are refined and gaps
addressed, there is a consistent taught approach throughout the
school. These form part of Key English Skills lessons and happen
at least twice a week. Using a wide variety of high quality and
appropriate texts, children build their comprehension skills whilst
continuing to improve their reading fluency.
Assessing Reading – Summative
The summative assessments in EYFS and Year 1 are all linked
to phonic screening, which takes place at the end of Year 1.
This test helps us to identify children who have
gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need further
support in Year 2. In Years 2-5, pupils complete a summative
assessment on a termly basis. This test clearly links to the
Woods Loke Learning Grids and complements,
rather than replaces, ongoing formative
assessment strategies. Year 2 also use previous SATs papers where
this is deemed beneficial to the children. In Year 6,
past SATS papers support teacher judgements and help to
prepare children for their future learning.
Assessing Reading – Formative
We use our exemplification and reading assessment grids to assess reading.
These are completed on an ongoing basis and, like in other subjects, a
combination of formative assessment completed during
reading lessons and summative assessments. Further exemplification
guidance is used by staff to accurately assess children.
Whole Class Reading
Throughout the school, children are read to by an adult in their classes
regularly. Teachers will either use their class stimulus text (see below) or
another which fits in with the learning taking place. Teachers read a huge
variety of written material regularly with the children, fiction and
non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries and poems. All year groups have
access to challenging and interesting novels for teachers to
read to their classes, exposing children to
language and classic stories, which they may
find too challenging to read independently.
The Woods Loke Curriculum has at its heart a set of cultural stimuli to help our children appreciate, understand and access a wide-range of ideas, attitudes and beliefs. As part of this, a reading stimulus is mapped out for each half-term and this is used to enrich and enliven the learning that takes place across the curriculum. It may be used in a variety of ways by the classes. For example, it may form the main focus for a topic, the theme for text-level work during writing sessions, the source of reading key skills work or a book enjoyed by the class as a whole.
Reading for Pleasure
All classes from year 2 onwards have a daily half-hour reading slot,
Focussed on giving children time to read for pleasure. In EYFS and year 1
they regularly find time to share stories with their classes. These sessions
promote and instil a love of literature and allow children to independently
apply the skills of decoding and comprehension that they have been taught.
At Woods Loke, we use book bands to help ensure that our
children are reading a variety of high quality texts at an appropriate
level. From Nursery to approximately the end of Year 4,
pupils select books that match their assessed reading level.
These are carefully linked to the exemplification guidance and
informed through our Reading Conferences and other
reading assessments. These bands are also used further up the
school where children are found to be working at a lower
achievement level. From Year 5 onwards, it is expected that children
have developed a sound degree of fluency and they are
encouraged to start selecting their own books based on individual interests.
This choice is supported by our school librarian and other adults and assessed for suitability to ensure that children select texts that balance challenge and enjoyment (often the same thing).
Throughout the school, we hold a weekly Reading Conference
with each child. bIn EYFS and Key Stage 1 this is a good
opportunity for adults to read with pupils and review
their reading records, whereas further up the school
it may involve more discussion about the text.
This time helps to both inform formative assessment,
motivate continued reading and
assess the suitability of text choice - especially further
up the school. Reading Journals are signed at
this point by an adult and home reading expectations monitored.
Reading at Home and Recording Reading
Reading is one of the most important things that children learn whilst
at school. This should be supported at home and we expect all of
our children to read/be read to at home every day.
This forms the main portion of our home learning agreement.
Every child has a Woods Loke Reading Journal. Parents/carers sign
these every day to confirm that their child has
been read with/read to themselves.
Support for Children Experiencing Difficulty Reading
We want all our children to be fluent readers –
regardless of their starting point and barriers to learning.
For those children identified as working below the expected standard in
reading, the school provides further support in various ways. Resources
are available to encourage reluctant readers to engage more
with the subject. Alongside this, TAs are trained in delivering
catch-up reading and a programme called Beat Dyslexia is
used to support children further where this is considered appropriate.
Reading Across the Curriculum
At Woods Loke, reading is not something that is discrete from the
other subjects. Across the curriculum, children use and apply their
reading skills to help support and enrich their learning experience.
Teachers will carefully plan reading opportunities and ensure that
children have access to appropriate texts that support skill and
knowledge acquisition in a range of subject areas.
Reading Engagement and Enrichment
Woods Loke School Library is run by a full-time, qualified librarian
and is open after school for parents to explore and choose books with
their child. In addition, we host reading cafes for each year group,
World Book Day celebrations and other reading focussed
activities throughout the year. In EYFS they run bedtime story
events and the school plays host to a variety of different
authors who help to further open up reading to our school community.