Reading and Phonics
Our Reading Ethos
At Penpol School, we recognise that reading is a vital life skill and one which makes the world an altogether more remarkable place. We are absolutely committed to supporting each and every one of our pupils to learn to read and to love to read from a young age. Reading is prioritised in our timetable and in our resourcing, ensuring that no child is left behind.
Throughout the EYFS and KS1 we follow the Read, Write, Inc. Phonics and Reading programme where the children have daily phonics and reading sessions. The children are grouped according to how secure they are on each set of sounds. Regular assessments inform our groupings, which ensures that pupils will always be challenged appropriately.
Read, Write, Inc. Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. The clarity of the scheme allows teachers and support staff to deliver consistently strong phonics teaching, ensuring that children experience success from the very beginning. Lively books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
Our least confident readers, throughout the school, receive regular additional support. Read, Write, Inc. trained support staff are deployed in Key Stage 2 to ensure that the right support is available to all.
Talk Through Stories
Teachers in our younger years deliver regular ‘Talk Through Stories’ sessions. Using high-quality texts, children are supported to learn new and exciting vocabulary and to develop their understanding of more complex themes not yet accessible when decoding themselves.
Once children have completed the Read, Write, Inc. programme, guided reading takes place daily. At Penpol, we use a ‘whole-class’ approach for guided reading.
Teachers use engaging texts to inspire and motivate pupils, using the VIPERS system (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise) to develop broad and confident comprehension skills for all.
Following our agreed Whole Class Guided Reading lesson structure, teachers model a passion for reading, provide appropriate challenge for all and particular support where it is needed.
To support the individual reading journey of pupils from Years 3-6, we use the Accelerated Reader programme. This makes use of regular iPad quizzes which allow pupils to autonomously challenge their comprehension skills.
The Accelerated Reader system incorporates a huge range of fantastic titles from many different publishers. This allows us to stock our school library with high-quality texts, organised by level of challenge. The system helps to ensure that each child has access to challenging yet accessible texts which interest them.
Reading at Home
The most powerful way that you can support your child’s learning at home is by reading fantastic stories with them as often as you can and by supporting them to read daily, wherever possible.
For early readers, this may well involve listening to them read out loud. When they are more confident, children may choose to read in their heads which should not be discouraged. However they read, your questioning and discussion around the text supports development of deeper comprehension skills.
Teachers regularly communicate with parents and guardians using our Tapestry and Showbie programmes. Here they may recommend resources and videos to access at home to support reading development. Children’s reading journals are an excellent way for them to keep track of their reading journey. If you would like any further advice or guidance regarding reading at home, please do not hesitate to get in touch directly with any member of the team.
We regularly invite parents and guardians to join our ‘reading army’ at Penpol. Receiving training and support, these volunteers provide additional support to less confident readers and to those less able to access stories at home. If you are interested in joining our reading army, please do get in touch.
Children across the school enjoy hearing their teacher read regularly. High quality texts are selected as ‘class readers’. These books are celebrated on each classroom’s door, raising the profile of the experience for all.
Poetry and Singing
We understand the power of poetry and singing, particularly for younger pupils as they build their vocabulary and early reading skills. Therefore, poetry and singing time is timetabled across the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.