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Key Stage 1 Phonics and Reading

What does Early Reading look like in EYFS and KS1 at Stanwick?

At Stanwick Primary Academy, we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of key stage one and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, discrete systematic phonics teaching combined with promotion of a love of reading and widening children’s vocabulary through reading quality texts during ‘story time’.  Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early schooling and has far-reaching implications for lifelong learning and well-being.

Daily phonics lessons in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.

We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress.

Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.

Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy. In Year 2, Phase 5 GPCs are re-capped in Autumn 1 and daily phonics lessons move to a focus on spelling and applying GPC rules.

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children. We use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’.

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:

1) decoding the words in the text

2) prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression

3) comprehension: teaching children to understand the text

In Reception these sessions start in Spring 1. 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.

In Year 1, these start in Autumn 1 and continue through the year. In Year 2, these take place in Autumn 1. In Autumn 2, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books. The other children will take part in VIPERS three times a week.

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