Glasshoughton Infant Academy

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Reading and Phonics at Glasshoughton Infant Academy

Learning to Read lessons

Learning to read sessions are introduced in nursery, where children are taught a range of speaking and listening skills, in the form of different games and activities. When children are ready, phase 2 phonemes and actions are introduced to the children. Children will learn to recognise each phoneme, say the sound and perform the action.

Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach, following the sequence set out in ‘Letters and Sounds’. Children are taught an action to go along with each phoneme in phases 2, 3 and 5. Actions for phases 2 and 3 are taken from ‘Jolly Phonics’. Actions taught alongside phase 5 phonemes have been developed by teachers at Glasshoughton Infant Academy. These are used consistently across school by all teaching staff.  In addition to this, tricky words to read by sight are introduced daily. These are the words that cannot easily be segmented and blended to read, such as ‘you’ and ‘was’, or words with spellings which are unusual.

Our daily learning to read sessions are pacey and fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games which encourage active participation by all.

Teaching Reading

At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we do not solely use one reading scheme. We use a combination of effective approaches, including Oxford Reading Tree and Floppy’s Phonics, along with an extensive range of supplementary materials. These ensure a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books are available to develop children’s reading range and love of reading.  

Reading Books

As mentioned above, we have a wide range of reading books available for children to access, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. All books are closely matched to children’s phonic ability, including books they read in school and books they are given to take home. Reading books are organised into phonic phases and are progressive across each phase, ensuring children are only expected to read books containing phonemes or spelling rules that they have been taught.

Children are given a reading book, or a pack of two reading books to take home weekly linked to their phonic ability. Parents and carers are encouraged to make notes and observations about their child’s learning on Class Dojo, where teachers are expected to read and respond.

Guided Reading

Guided reading is introduced to children in Nursery. Nursery children are taught to hold a book the correct way round, turn the pages correctly and talk about the pictures in small groups. Children in Reception and Year 1 complete weekly guided reading sessions in the same way, in small groups. They are expected to use their phonic knowledge to segment and blend words to read in order to develop their fluency when reading simple sentences. These books will also contain tricky words that they are taught to read by sight during their phonic lessons.

Children are taught a range of reading strategies needed for them to tackle unfamiliar words and develop their pace, fluency and stamina when reading. Children develop their comprehension and language skills by answering a range of retrieval and inference questions related to the characters, plot and vocabulary choices.

In Year 2, children take part in daily whole class guided reading where they work in mixed pairs to read a text; either fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The same text is read daily and then children are expected to answer a range of retrieval and inference questions, as well as to explore new vocabulary and summarise the text. Using teacher assessment, when children are able to confidently communicate in the written form, they are expected to write their answers to the questions down in their guided reading book. In addition to this, children also have an extra reading session with the teacher in a small group over a two-week period to develop their fluency. When children in Year 1 are assessed as being “ready” to read independently and answer questions in a larger group, whole class guided reading is introduced for these children, mirroring the practice in Year 2.

Assessment of Reading

Assessment of reading is on-going. During small group guided reading sessions children’s word reading and comprehension achievements are recorded, as well as their individual next steps for learning and misconceptions. During whole class guided reading sessions teachers record on a whole class feedback sheet, where individual children who have exceeded the learning objective are identified, along with common misconceptions and children who need extra support.

At each of the four assessment points children’s phonic ability, including identifying and pronouncing phonemes correctly, reading tricky words and reading sentences with words containing phonemes taught, is assessed.

Children are moved onto working within the next phonics phase when they are confidently applying learning from the previous phase in their reading. Books children read in school and take home are then re-matched to their new phonics phase.

School Library

We offer a daily lending library in Nursery and “Red” Read at Home boxes throughout school which children are encouraged to borrow from on a daily basis. In main school children are encouraged to select appropriate books to take home on a weekly basis from our fiction/non-fiction lending library.

Ways you can support your children at home:

Play ‘What do we have in here?’ Put some toys or objects in a bag and pull one out at a time. Emphasise the first sound of the name of the toy or object by repeating it, for example, ‘c c c c – car’, ‘b b b b – box’, ‘ch ch ch ch – chip’.

Say: ‘A tall tin of tomatoes!’ ‘Tommy, the ticklish teddy!’ ‘A lovely little lemon!’ This is called alliteration. Use names, for example, ‘Gurpreet gets the giggles’, ‘Milo makes music’, ‘Naheema’s nose’.

Teach them tongue twisters e.g ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers’.​