Early Reading and Phonics

At Willowbrook Mead, we are proud to offer the pupils a text rich learning environment where imagination and creativity can be fuelled. Through our rigorous phonics curriculum, we ensure pupils develop the skills and knowledge they need to develop as confident readers who have a love of books. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

Early reading and phonics are included on our school improvement plan and is considered a priority in teaching and learning across the school. We know that many of our children start in our nursery and reception years with low vocabulary and comprehension. We also have seen the impact of Covid on children in recent years, which has affected children’s reading ability and understanding. Our focus is to ensure that all children are given the best start in their education through the effective teaching of systematic phonics and through a vocabulary-rich curriculum.

Phonics Scheme

The school follow the Read, Write, Inc. phonics scheme to get children reading and writing quickly. Through daily phonics lessons, children develop a genuine love of reading and writing as they move through reception and KS1. Children learn 44 ‘pure sounds’ and use and apply this knowledge to blend sounds into new words. Alongside this, children write every day using their sound knowledge to rehearse what they want to say, before writing it down using the sounds and ‘tricky words’ they have learnt.

To support their progress in phonics, pupils are given a reading book at their level, which contains sounds they have learnt in phonics lessons. This helps develop their independence and boost their confidence. They also have chance to choose another book to be read to them at home by an adult. Regular reading with a teacher and in groups ensures that pupils at Willowbrook make progress through the phonics programme and are reading well matched books at their challenge level.

We always welcome the support and contributions of our parents and carers – and there is a lot you can do to help your child develop vital early literacy skills and set them up as passionate, lifelong readers and writers.

To learn to read children need to:

  • learn 44 sounds (phonemes) and the corresponding letters/letter groups (graphemes)
  • learn to read words using sound blending

To remember the sounds, children use a rhyme to help them. They can be found here.

Below is our phonics overview for each year group

Nursery

Reception

Year 1

Year 2

Teachers plan and deliver phonics lessons that ensure children learn the set 1, 2 & 3 sounds and apply them to their reading and writing. The video below shows an example of our phonics lessons here at Willowbrook.

 

It is important that the children practise their sounds at home to develop with their pronunciation and fluency with reading. The videos below should help with this

Set 1 sounds

Set 2 sounds

Set 3 sounds

 

Reading at home

All children take home a levelled book. This is a phonetically decodable book in Reception and year 1, and an Accelerated Reader book for years 2-6 (apart from children who are accessing phonics interventions). Children also choose a book from our school library to take home and share with an adult.

Here’s how many words kids would have heard by the time they were 5 years
old: Never read to, 4,662 words; 1–2 times per week, 63,570 words; 3–5
times per week, 169,520 words; daily, 296,660 words; and five books a day,
1,483,300 words.

We have a reading incentive for the children who read at home. Every time they read, they get a sticker on their book mark. They can then enter into a prize draw to choose a book to take home.

     

Love of reading!

At Willowbrook Mead we love to encourage our children to read! We have lots of opportunities for children to have quiet reading time during the day or enjoy being read to by a teacher. We have a reading events calendar that includes dress up days, bed time stories with parents, reading in our community etc.

Have a look at some of our recent events below:

Roald Dahl Day! – 13th September 2022

 

Drop Everything And Read time- 1st November 2022

The classes across school ‘buddied’ up and read to each other for 30 minutes. It was fantastic seeing the children sharing books and talking about their favourite stories with each other

Storytime with…….

Every few weeks, a member of staff reads their favourite story to the KS1 children! We have volunteers from across the school….which members of staff can you spot below?

   

Bedtime Stories- 22nd November 2022

We invited all of our families to join us for an evening of reading and stories in their pj’s.  The hall was full and lots of quality family time was spent sharing stories and enjoying hot chocolate and biscuits.

Feedback from parents…….

Great time .. thank you for organising this event .. thank you all the staff who gave their time

Great Time. Definitely looking forward for the next one 🙂 Thank you for your time and hard work.

Can we do this again?

Had a lovely warm chocolaty evening today .well done and many thanks to make this happen (:

Subject Leader/s

Miss L Moscetano

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