Reading and Phonics
At Brierley we are passionate about reading and we endeavor to make sure that all our children develop a love of reading and that every child leaves us as a reader.
Central to our approach is the teaching of systematic phonics using a mix of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’. Daily, discrete high quality teaching alongside effective assessment and tracking helps to ensure that children meet the ambitious reading targets that are set for them.
At Brierley, we ensure that phonics is an integral part of the school day from Nursery to Year 2. We use ‘Jolly Phonics’ in Nursery and ‘Letters and Sounds’ in KS1, which is taught through a wide variety of multi-sensory actions and songs to inspire our children. We regularly assess and analyse children’s individual phonic knowledge so that we can tailor our lessons to specific groups of learners. At the end of year 1 all children are screened for their phonic awareness and ability of segmenting and blending regular and irregular words. The screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard and identify children who need further support. These children will retake this test the following year. Our aim is to give children the opportunity to achieve up to Phase 6 phonics by the end of year 2. In KS2, children have daily spelling lessons. These lessons teach children spelling rules through games and investigations. Children are assessed on their spelling knowledge regularly and given support where needed.
All of our classrooms feature bright, stimulating and inviting books corners for children to sit and read in and we regularly invest in high quality texts for the children. In our book corners you will often find children’s recommendations and reviews of their favourite books. We have also recently launched our author focus strategy where we have strategically planned to ensure that by the time children leave us in year 6 they have read many books by significant authors, including Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson, Mick Inkpen and lots more. Every year we partake in World Book Day, everyone, including staff, come to school dressed as their favourite book character for the day.
Each year we endeavour to invite at least two children’s book authors to school. The authors, such as Stuart Reid and Alan Gibbons often perform whole school assemblies and individual class workshops. The children thoroughly enjoy their visits.
Guided reading is a daily occurrence throughout the school and in this time children have further opportunity to engage with high quality texts and show their understanding through a range of responses such as drama, extended writing opportunities and reader’s theatre. We also ensure that throughout their time at school children regularly hear adults reading aloud.
Promoting Early Reading
In Foundation Stage we have ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for parents that specifically focus on them reading with their children and we create opportunities where parents who wish to can come in and read a story to their child’s class.
We send home levelled books for children across the school to ensure that children are reading books with a good level of challenge. We use the Every Child a Reader (ECaR) reading levels, numbered 1-30. Once a child reaches level 30, they become a free reader. Children’s reading is monitored regularly by the staff and we encourage the children and parents to communicate using their reading diary so that in partnership we can help parents to help their child at home. We hold a Reading Workshop for parents each year, here we are able to teach parents and carers how we teach phonics and reading at Brierley. We offer advice and provide free quality reading books for them to share at home with their child.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher should you have any questions or queries.
Reading in the Curriculum
Throughout our school, learning is planned in a cross curricular way and we routinely use books as our starting point for a topic. In the past we have planned a whole term’s worth of learning around texts such as; Pirate Post, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, Traction Man and lots more. Using a high quality text as a basis for learning really engages the children and helps to develop quality writing as well as stimulating learning in other areas of the curriculum.
ECaR & Switch-on Literacy
We have a trained ‘ECaR’ (Every Child a Reader) teacher in school, who is trained in the ‘Reading Recovery’ approach. We also have a fully trained teacher and three teaching assistances trained in a new reading and writing intervention called Switch-on. Both ECaR and Switch-on offer significant help to our least able readers which, in most cases, results in a dramatic improvement in their progress.
If you feel that you would like some advice with early reading strategies please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Bridgett, who will be delighted to help you.