Learning To Read
Learning to read is one of the most vital life skills your child will develop throughout their time at school. Being able to read is one aspect of the reading journey; reading for pleasure enables children to further develop their language, vocabulary and writing skills, explore the wider curriculum and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. We strive for all our children to become competent readers and develop a love of reading through our creative curriculum which is based on high quality and engaging texts suited to children’s age and experiences.
Phonics and Spelling
At Weeke we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme. Children are taught phonics daily throughout EYFS, year 1 and 2. During Year Two, once phonic knowledge is secure, children begin to learn spellings in line with the rest of Key Stage Two.
Alongside phonics, children will learn to read and spell ‘key words’. Key words are words which have one or more letters which do not correspond to the phonic sounds the children learn (e.g. in go, the letter ‘o’ does not represent the same sound as the children know in dog). Children cannot read key words using phonics alone so will need to learn them by sight. A list of key words can be found by clicking the "Key Word Lists" tab above.
The main reading scheme we use at Weeke is the Oxford Reading Tree, however we supplement the scheme with a range of other books such as Discovery World, Rigby Star, Bug Club and Project X; this enables all our children to have a wide choice of books in different styles when learning to read. There are regular opportunities for the children to read on a 1:1 basis with a member of staff; our fantastic team of volunteers also support children with their reading.
The children have regular opportunities to choose library books and change reading books. Our library is well stocked with a fantastic range of books.
We know that experiencing a wide variety of interesting books and reading materials has a positive impact on writing. We teach the vast majority of our writing units using high quality and engaging texts – we call this text led planning. We work hard to ensure our Literacy lessons are based primarily on engaging and challenging texts which inspire the children. To develop children’s understanding and interest further, writing topics are often cross curricular and may be linked to science, history, P4C or geography for example. Children in all year groups are read to by staff; this includes sharing big books and ebooks on the interactive whiteboard.
During years 2 – 6 all children are taught in half hour guided reading sessions in small groups. Children will read a text or section of a text and the teacher will guide the discussion about what the children have read, assessing their comprehension and challenging them to think more deeply about what they have read, asking questions about opinions and deepening understanding of language, grammar or author intentions.
Drama, role play and talk
Talk is a very important part of developing language. Throughout all year groups, we use a range of strategies including drama, role play and discussion to deepen understanding of different stories and texts. This may involve the teacher or a child ‘in role’, re-enactment of a key scene in a story, oral retelling, a debate or the use of specific drama techniques.
We offer a range of interesting and rich opportunities for children to develop their enjoyment and understanding of reading. Examples in our curriculum include a Christmas reading day and termly ‘Everybody Writes’ days where children are immersed in activities related to a specific book. We offer an after school book club to our children in key stage one and a newspaper club in key stage two. Visitors to school such as authors and theatre companies further enhance our provision.
How can you support your child’s reading at home?
- Children in all year groups are expected to read daily at home, either to an adult or independently, dependent on age and ability. We would encourage the children to read anything that they are interested in, it doesn’t just have to be their reading book!
- Parents can support children to learn key words using the cards sent home or as part of their child’s everyday reading, pointing them out in sentences or asking children if they can spot them in their books. Short activities such as cutting up key word cards and playing games with them, e.g. making up silly sentences by combining different key words keeps learning fun. We want all of our children to enjoy learning to read!
We believe that one of the most important aspects of learning to read and write is to read to your child as much as possible. Read, read and read some more! You can read anything at all with your child – school reading books are a good choice but reading anything that your child shows an interest in is valuable. Reading aloud to your child helps to develop their range of vocabulary and enhance their enjoyment of books/reading which in turn helps them develop their writing skills. It can be helpful to talk to your child about the characters in the books, perhaps stop and ask your child what he/she thinks may happen next or ask his/her opinion on the story. Follow your child’s lead and let them choose what they are interested in reading.
For guidance on reading, you can see some highly recommended web sites by clicking the "Literacy Links" tab above.
If you would like further guidance or information, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher.
Key Word Lists
Key words are words which children see and use frequently. Many of these words do not follow the phonetic patterns children will be learning so need to be learnt separately. Children will begin to learn to read these key words during reception. We expect the children to know sets of words securely before moving on to another set. When supporting your child in learning to read and write key words, we suggest playing games such as mixing up the words to make silly sentences. It is also really important for children to learn to read the words in context, i.e. within sentences in their reading book. Please ask your child’s teacher if you would like further support, suggestions or information.
Note: if you are using Internet Explorer you will need version 10 or higher to use the flashcards below.
There is also currently a problem with using the flashcards on some mobile devices - you can view the Key Word lists by clicking here.