Learning Phonics - the first step in reading
At Ashleigh, we introduced Read Write Inc phonics in January 2021 to form the starting point of children's reading journey. This is a proven approach to ensuring children learn to read, providing a structured and systematic approach to early literacy. The documents below give you a brief introduction to Read Write Inc and include a 'Ten Top Tips' document with some suggestions for what to do when you read to your child.
Following on from Phonics
Once children have mastered phonics, they graduate to our reading programme which prioritises: a love of reading; reading widely across a range of texts; fluency and a deep understanding of texts.
In school, children have a daily reading lesson where we focus on exposing children to a wide variety of texts including classic stories, contemporary work and non-fiction. We develop children's knowledge of vocabulary and teach them the skills to comprehend and analyse texts. The texts we use have been carefully chosen to ensure that there is a logical progression in vocabulary, the complexity of aspects such as plot and narration used and the figurative language used by the author. These are called our 'Plagues of Reading' based on work by Doug Lemov and can be found below.
We also want to promote a love of reading and use story time and Accelerated Reader to support this. Class teachers read stories to their children daily, modelling the fluency and enthusiasm we aim for all our children. Accelerated Reader (see document below) is a programme which supports children's independent reading; each child takes a short online assessment which then allocates them to a band - children pick a book from the band and read it both in school and at home. The assessment ensures that the book is neither too easy or too hard for them. Once they have read the book, they take a short online quiz which helps to ensure they have read it thoroughly (and which they seem to really enjoy).
Your support is still invaluable; any opportunity for you to hear your child read or to read to them helps them to love reading more. The Education Endowment Foundation have produced a Top Tips guide to help with this.