Our reading journey starts in Nursery where we centre learning around quality texts. These are mapped out in the early years to ensure that our children are exposed to a broad range of genres and authors. They are complimented by additional texts chosen based on children’s interests and incidental opportunities, for example, our nursery children love watching the recycling truck enter the grounds each week so we shared ‘Somebody Swallowed Stanley’ and discussed recycling.
Our aim is to develop children’s interest in stories, expose them to a wide range of vocabulary and ignite an interest in the world around them, as well as developing the skills needed to become a reader. In Nursery, we plan pre-phonics activities which enable them to:
- Explore and experiment with sounds and words
- Distinguish between sounds in the environment and phonemes
- Show awareness of rhyme and alliteration.
This is planned as small group and whole class teaching time, as well as being factored into daily routines. For example, an adult helping a child to prepare to go outdoors might say, “Put on your c-oa-t,” and then emphasise the initial sound in zip – ‘zzzzz’. Adult modelling and scaffolding in children’s play is key to supporting children on an individual basis to make the best possible progress.
We place a focus on the early acquisition of phonics in Reception and Year One to enable children to use this strategy to access print. We have adopted a structured approach to the teaching of phonics with an emphasis on review, learn and apply and have devoted phonics teaching sessions daily with designated staff. This enables phonics to be taught to small groups and ensures progress is carefully monitored and adjustments to teaching are made to meet the needs of each group. Groups are rearranged according to need and half termly meetings monitor the progress of all children towards the expected benchmarks in Year One.
Phonics teaching begins in the Reception class with the use of the Read Write Inc Phonics programme which is continued into Year One. The reading books at this stage are Read Write Inc Book Bag Books and are closely linked to the pupils phonic knowledge taught in their Read Write Inc groups.