Early Reading and Phonics
Here at Timu Academy, we believe all our children have the ability to become fluent readers. In order to support children with their early reading development, we teach our children to read and write using a systematic synthetic phonics programme. Timu Academy have introduced the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read.
How we teach Phonics
- In reception and Y1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
- Children are taught phonics lessons daily, following the clear progression.
- In Y2 phonics lessons follow the model of Little Wandle, plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- Through careful daily and summative assessment, children are identified for additional phonics support if necessary to ensure progress, with the aim of no child falling behind and every child becoming a successful reader.
- Teaching phonics with fidelity to our chosen programme ensures learning stays in children’s long term memory and enables children to apply their learning to become competent readers and writers.
- In Y3 phonics lessons are still taught where appropriate following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- There are planned phonics ‘catch-up’ sessions to address specific gaps.
Here are three videos which demonstrate how to pronounce each phoneme (sound).
Here are also the sounds with pronunciation phrases for phase 2 and phase 3.
There are more videos on how we teach tricky words, how we teach blending and a quick guide to alien words.
In Year R and Year 1, children will take home a phonics book that will only contain sounds they have previously learnt, matched to the phonics programme. This is to ensure that when your child is reading their book, they should be fluent and automatic. Meaning that reading is a much more positive experience for children as it celebrates their successes; it is a time for the children to showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge.
For any child still developing fluency; they will bring home a phonics book and a reading for pleasure book.
When children are secure in fluency, they will move on to AR and will be bringing home an AR book and a reading for pleasure book.
For any child still developing fluency; they will bring home a phonics book and an Accelerated Reader book they have chosen.
In Year R and Year 1, each child will also take part in three reading practice sessions. Children will be reading in small groups and will read the same book three times with adults in school.
Each read in school will have a different focus:
- Decoding (sounding out)
- Prosody (reading with rhythm, stress and expression)
- Comprehension (to understand what they have read)
In Year 2, in order to develop children’s fluency and to help address gaps in children’s reading and phonic knowledge, there will be the above reading sessions. The amount of reading sessions and the type of reading sessions a child receives will be dependent on their phonics gaps.
Have a look at our booklet which contains more information about Early Reading at Timu Academy Trust and an Early Reading Presentation on how to support your child at home.
You can also watch the Little Wandle Phonics Workshop for Parents on the links below:
Guided reading lessons are a great opportunity for our children to build on and develop their comprehension skills. Here at Timu Academy, we follow a mastery approach to the teaching of reading skills. This means we spend time revisiting skills such as retrieval, inference, prediction and being able to summarise. These skills are taught using high quality texts linked to the current topic area being covered each term.
Here at Timu Academy, we understand the great importance of reading for pleasure. As an academy, all of our staff aim to promote reading as an important skill to have, but that it is also a fun and imaginative time that can open new doors. Our whole Academy Readathon event saw our children raise £5229.24 which they were able to put towards new texts in each classroom. The children really enjoyed choosing the books themselves!
Reading at home
Reading is a vital skill and we encourage parents to join in the excitement of their children learning to read. We recommend reading little and often and setting aside a set time each day to complete this. Our expectation is for children to read at home a minimum of three times a week. This may be their class book, a book from home, a comic book, annual, magazine etc. We encourage children to re-read a text in order to develop fluency and understanding.
Ways to help your child enjoy a book
- Have a regular time for reading – perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Begin with a book that your child has chosen. Children are more likely to read something that interests them.
- Ensure that children’s books are easy to access in different rooms around your house.
- Encourage your child to pretend to ‘read’ a book before he or she can read words.
- Visit the library as often as possible – take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in – football, princesses, cars etc.
- You may wish to use Audiobooks. Apps such as Audible are great and offer a huge amount of children’s books.
- Create opportunities to read and write beyond the pages of the book.
- On car, bus, train journeys or while running errands, play word games that build language skills.
Useful websites for book suggestions
https://www.booksfortopics.com/key-stage-book-lists -books listed by age
https://www.booksfortopics.com/topics- -books listed by topics and subject areas