English curriculum – early reading

Back to Subject specific curriculum statements
  • To foster a love of reading, where children can not only demonstrate an understanding of what they have read, but also show enthusiasm and excitement for it.
  • All children learn to read at least age-appropriate books regardless of their background or circumstances.
  • Phonics lessons that are pitched to a child’s individual needs.
  • To have a language rich environment.

Direct, focused phonics is taught every day in Reception and key stage 1 

  • Phonics is taught in KS1 daily during 30 minute sessions. Children are placed into groups organised by ability so that they have focused lessons that are  suitably pitched in order to get them reading as quickly as possible.
  • In September children will have discrete phonics lessons within their own class for the first two weeks, until assessments have been completed. Children  will then be grouped across their year group.  

Children read from books with the sounds they know, while they are learning to read 

  • Home reader books match the phonics scheme
  • Use of Oxford Owl and MyON to encourage reading at home.
  • Books read during RWI sessions match colour and sounds taught.
  • Accelerated Reader in KS2 and KS1 (for those who have finished the RWI programme)

Teachers and teaching assistants provide extra practice through the day for the children who make the slowest progress (the lowest 20%)

  • KS1 interventions – if required, children take part in either 1:1 (for the lowest 20%) or small group phonics interventions in order to plug the  gaps in their knowledge. The lowest 20% are heard Individually read at least once during the week, ideally daily.  
  • KS2 interventions -Children who didn’t pass the phonics check will be in smaller, targeted focus groups and will have additional 1-1 sessions designed to plug their gaps and get them reading accurately and fluently as quickly as possible. This is so they can access the KS2 English curriculum and return to whole class reading lessons.

All children in Year 3 and above can read age-appropriate books 

  • Star reader results and listening 1:1 to readers for list of children who are not reading age-appropriate books
  • Phonics check for new year 3 and any KS2 children who still haven’t completed the RWI programme.

Teachers instil in children a love of literature: the best stories and poems 

  • High quality class readers
  • DPA Reading Spine to provide ideas on high quality texts
  • Library times to share stories and discuss children’s opinions of the books they have read.
  • Listening to an adult read for 15 minutes a day – story times/reading rainbows

The school is determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. All pupils, including the weakest readers,  make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations  

  • Tracking those who didn’t pass phonics screening into KS2
  • Interventions for the lowest 20%
  • Track EAL boys who historically have been the underachieving group
  • Speech and language screening to assess children’s listening, attention, expressive and receptive vocabulary. Small group interventions then follows to help develop a child’s speech and language skills if required.

Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are chosen for reading to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Pupils are  familiar with and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction  

  • DPA Reading spine provides high quality texts
  • Non-negotiable – read the text and highlight teaching points – enables poems, non-fiction and rhymes to link where necessary
  • New English curriculum allows equal teaching of all genres
  • In KS2, beginning of lesson of English outline will always focus on key vocab and this will be revisited during the week.
  • In KS1, key vocabulary is usually woven into the Inquiry journey. Children are taught this at the beginning of the week and then this is revisited during teaching. In year 2, children will have a short vocabulary session on a Monday during Term 1. Once children are off RWI they are then  introduced to new vocabulary during SPaG lessons. 

The school’s phonics programme matches or exceeds the expectations of the national curriculum and the early learning goals. The school has clear  expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term-by-term, from Reception to Year 2  

  • Expected progress:

Term 1

  • Reception: Set 1 A/B group
  • Year 1: Green/ Purple
  • Year 2: Blue/ Grey

Term 2

  • Reception: Set 1 A/B group
  • Year 1: Green/ Purple
  • Year 2: Blue/ Grey

Term 3

  • Reception: Set 1 A/B group
  • Year 1: Green/ Purple
  • Year 2: Blue/ Grey

Term 4

  • Reception: Set 1 A/B group
  • Year 1: Green/ Purple
  • Year 2: Blue/ Grey

Term 5

  • Reception: Set 1 A/B group
  • Year 1: Green/ Purple
  • Year 2: Blue/ Grey

Term 6

  • Reception: Set 1 A/B group
  • Year 1: Green/ Purple
  • Year 2: Blue/ Grey

The sequence of reading books shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is matched closely to the school’s phonics programme.  Teachers give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both at school  and at home 

  • Books taught in class follow a clear progression as set out by the RWI programme and home reading books match this progression.
  • RWI books to be included in class for continuous provision (YR 1) and reading areas
  • Children re-read a text 3 times during phonics lessons to develop accuracy and fluency. 

Reading, including the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, is taught from the beginning of Reception.  

  • Nursery pupils begin by learning set 1 sounds during summer term and following phase 1 lessons before this, e.g. listening to sounds in the environment  and identifying rhyming words when listening to a story.  
  • Reception pupils start phonics in term 1 in their own classes, after a settling period. From Term 2 children begin splitting into groups to meet their  personalised needs across the year group.  
  • Regular reading checks take place in order to assess appropriate reading level – teachers hear every student read at least once every two weeks. In KS2, this  will be during the discrete reading lessons.  
  • English team complete reading spot checks – hearing children read and determining if the level of books match their current reading level

The ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace.  If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately  

  • Phonics assessments carried out at least once a term and more frequently if needed.
  • Teachers to identify immediately anyone not in the right group to be reassessed.

The school has developed sufficient expertise in the teaching of phonics and reading. 

  • CPD delivered to staff on new reading curriculum and reading for pleasure
  • Languages hub to work on improving reading and phonics.
  • Phonics CPD for those new to phonics/taking interventions – discussing the principles of RWI and how to deliver a lesson.
  • Phonics refresher CPD delivered in the new year – recap on the importance of pace and the routines during a phonics lesson.
  • Regular lesson drop ins from the reading leader and English team to provide models and support.

Through regular formative assessment and, as needed, summative assessments, pupils’ progress is closely monitored to ensure they progress to be able to  read to at least an age appropriate level. By developing these skills at an early age, pupils have the confidence and skills to access all elements of the broad  and balanced curriculum open to them.