Early Reading at Mousehold Infant and Nursery School
At Mousehold Infant and Nursery School we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of key stage one. We believe this is achievable through a combination of high quality, discrete systematic phonics teaching combined with a language rich curriculum that promotes a reading for pleasure culture.
At Mousehold Infant and Nursery School we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery 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. At Mousehold Infant and Nursery School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
How we teach phonics
- In Nursery, children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
- In reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily.
- Phonics starts in reception in to ensure the children make a strong start.
- By the end of reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
- By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
- Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
- Year 1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
- In Year 2, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- In Year 2 there are planned phonic catch-up sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.
Reading practice sessions
We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:
- are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups.
- use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments.
- are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
- prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through Phonics and Reading Café throughout the year.
Ensuring reading for pleasure
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow a reading for pleasure culture.
- We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children atMousehold Infant and Nursery School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Every classroom has an inviting book corner or book nook that encourages a love for reading.
- In Nursery and Reception, children have access to the reading books as part of the continuous provision.
- Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. This is used to record the books children have read at home and school.
- The school library is made available for classes to use. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of reading for pleasure events such as, book fairs, library visits and national events.
Power of Reading
We use the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s Power of Reading to support our teaching of reading. Children engage with high quality texts, delving deep into the characters and themes of the texts they study. This reading then inspires fantastic written work and responses.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
Summative assessment is used:
- every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Ongoing assessment for catch-up
Children in Year 2 are assessed through their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as through the half-termly Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised summative assessments.