Reading and Phonics
The principles outlined below are informed by advice from the local English Hub, specialist improvement advisors and Department for Education (DfE) guidance, including the 2022 ‘Reading Framework’. We recognise the importance of teaching phonics with an approach that: allows teachers to use their professional judgement regarding pedagogy; is rigorous; is systematic; is used with fidelity; and achieves strong results for all pupils.
- We use the ‘Bug Club’ phonics programme to teach phonics and provide intervention.
- We provide all children with a decodable book from the Bug Club system (both physical and online copies) that is closely linked to their phonics learning.
- We implement our phonics scheme consistently in each class, ensuring fidelity to the progression set out in the phonics scheme and agreed principles of effective phonics teaching.
- We group children using accurate assessment, which also allows us to provide targeted additional support outside of daily phonics sessions.
- We recognise the importance of spoken language and vocabulary acquisition.
- We use explicit, whole-class or group teaching of reading skills. This takes place whenever a new reading skill is introduced.
- We plan for independent application of reading skills through lone, pair or group work after skills have been taught.
- We create opportunities for children to read in small groups or one-to-one, applying the ‘reciprocal reading’ skills outlined below, with books closely matched to their reading ability.
Reading skills are introduced through explicit instruction. This begins with whole-class teaching of the skill. Teachers explain the skill, give key strategies and model the skill. The class take part in activities to practise the skill as a whole, with feedback from the teacher.
Teaching activities may be drawn from the whole-class text, books linked to topics or short sections of text. Activities may include open answer, multiple choice, cloze activities, low-stakes quizzes or sorting activities.
Independent application of skills:
Children have the opportunity to apply the reading skills independently, using comprehension cards or a range of creative activities based on their reading books to develop the skills. Skills may be applied in isolation or in combination with other skills.
Activities may include completing comprehension cards, independently completing quizzes that test specific skills or activities that allow children to draw, design or answer questions in creative ways.
Reciprocal reading encourages children to focus their own thought process while they are reading. In this way it helps reading skills become more explicit. Children are more actively involved in the process of monitoring their comprehension as they read.