At Far Forest Primary School, we implement a consistent and robust approach to ensure children make rapid progress in reading. Our aim is to ensure that every child can read confidently and fluently by the end of Key Stage 1. We have prioritised reading through investing in a secure and systematic phonics programme to ensure that not only do our children 'learn to read' but also 'read to learn' from an early age.
Our phonics programme 'Little Wandle' promotes expectations which are aspirational yet achievable. All staff are trained to deliver the programme through quality CPD modules, this will be on-going throughout the year to ensure consistency and build confidence. Progression has been organised so that children are taught from the simple to more complex GPC's as well as taking into account the frequency of their occurence in the most commonly encountered words. All graphemes taught are practised in words, sentences and later on in fully decodable books. Children review and revise GPCs and words, daily, weekly and across terms and years in order to move this knowledge into their long-term memory.
In Key Stage 2, we have clear systems, strategies and approaches to ensure success with fluency, prosody and most importantly comprehension. Texts are mapped out in our Reading Spine to not only ensure challenge and progression but to also expose children to a wide range of literature. We actively encourage reading for pleasure and through our carefully selected texts ensure that our children receive a good diet of authors, themes and genres. We use quality texts to drive our curriculum so that children are exposed to rich vocabulary to support their comprehension skills.
Communication, Language and Vocabulary is a key curriculum driver at Far Forest Primary and we plan lessons to provide opportunities for our pupils to communicate to different audiences. Ambitious and key vocabulary is a focus in all areas of the curriculum so that pupils can express their ideas clearly and coherently.
A fluency assessment is carried out on all pupils after completing the phonics programme so that we can identify gaps and the right interventions can be put in place. We ensure through early identification and daily interventions that no child falls behind. Children that are not at age-related expectations are targeted for our daily 'keep up' programme and booster sessions.
Spelling lessons from Year 2 upwards are a regular feature in our English lessons, this supports reading and also enables pupils to apply their knowledge of phonics to learning spelling rules. Our spelling progression map informs staff of prior, current and future learning so that they can plan effectively. Retrieval activities are embedded throughout our curriculum to ensure learning sticks and children can confidently use prior learning to support new learning.
We value the importance of reading and aim for all of our children to become reading experts. We have invested heavily in books and a systematic phonics scheme that will engage and support our pupils with their reading journey. A wide range of strategies are implemented to ensure that the aims and objectives for our reading curriculum can be achieved, these include…
Most importantly, we use assessments to identify individual starting points so that this can be tracked and monitored closely.
Repeated practice is something we are passionate about, this approach is adopted from EYFS to Year 6, we strongly believe that ‘practise makes permanent’.
We use the scheme Little Wandle to support and embed early reading at Far Forest Primary. Our decodable books are matched securely to our pupils’ phonic knowledge and our youngest pupils in Reception and Year 1 read books/ebooks at home that are decodable. It is crucial that these books can be read confidently so that pupils’ can focus on building their fluency and practise their phonics.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children will be taught their age related phase in phonics through whole class teaching every morning, 1:1 keep up sessions to close the gap alongside classroom learning, booster sessions in the afternoon and read in small groups 3x a week. Our lowest 20% and SEND will read everyday to an adult.
The children will apply their phonic knowledge every Friday to a writing task. They will write sentences at a table with supervision and support from an adult. Children will use vocabulary from the writing areas to support their sentence work and become independent with choosing the correct words from working walls and using what they have been taught that week in their phonics sessions.
Those that have completed the programme (Year 2) will move on to Phase 6 which will be taught using our spelling programme. They will also continue to work on their fluency and comprehension through planned reading sessions throughout the week.
Key Stage 2 Reading and Rapid Catch up programme.
In KS2, whole class reading will take place as well as the ‘Rapid Catch up’ programme and additional keep up sessions for our lowest 20% where needed. The whole class will be exposed to challenging and quality texts so that nobody is left behind. Interventions will not take place in these sessions.
What is the Keep up session and how long should it be?
Our Keep-up support programme, which is an extension to the Little Wandle programme provides tailored assessments and resources to enable our pupils to keep up and not catch up. Daily 1:1 sessions take place for 5-10 minutes every day for those that need it and will happen alongside class learning. This will ensure that nobody falls behind and all of our pupils will be confident and successful readers.
This will be reviewed and monitored closely each half term.
Fidelity to the scheme.
There is NO mixing and matching of resources. All books and resources to teach phonics or close gaps are through our synthetic and systematic phonics programme ‘Little Wandle’.
All rhymes and technical language is consistent throughout the school.
Assessment and Tracking
We track, monitor and support our pupils by...
Characteristics of a Reader and Writer
Our intent is strongly underpinned by the characteristics that we want our children to display as readers and writers- see below.
Writing at Far Forest