Phonics and Early Reading at Whitehall Primary
At Whitehall we are driven to ensure that all our children develop as confident fluent readers. We place a huge emphasis in our curriculum on children being taught high quality phonics as the stepping stone into the world of reading. We teach phonics using Letters and Sounds as the basis for the planning of our high quality systematic phonics programme. Where children fall behind in their phonic or reading acquisition they receive targeted support to rapidly close the gap.
Our books are all book banded and based on the Reading Recovery levels. Each book band has a number and a colour that reflect progress in reading from early phonics through to fluent, competent reading around the age of 7 or 8. There are also bands beyond this but these are much broader and more about age-appropriateness than reading ability.
In Reception and Year 1 children also have phonically decodeable books to read as we know that this is fundamental to supporting them as readers.
Helping our children to become lifelong confident readers
At Whitehall we believe the most important skill for each child to leave primary school with is the ability to read independently and effectively for meaning. We, therefore, provide a curriculum which offers a structured approach to the teaching of reading through discreet reading lessons and embedding this work within our broad and rich curriculum.
In order for all our children to become successful confident readers, we would like to take this opportunity to remind all parents of the importance of ensuring that their child has their book bag, reading diary and book in school each day. Your child’s reading diary forms a vital link between school and home and enables teachers to let you know how your child is progressing with their reading. The diary also enables parents and carers to communicate with school and let us know that you have heard you child read.
If your child has misplaced their reading diary please let the teacher know and we will get a replacement for your child.
In order to develop our home school reading partnership further we thought it would be helpful to let you know how we as teachers will support your child’s reading in school and how we would appreciate you supporting your child with reading at home:
What teachers will do:
What parents and carers can do:
Whitehall’s fantastic reading results are not only because of what the children learn in school. Our pupils become successful readers with a love of books because of the support they get from home through daily opportunities to read and hear stories. We thank our parents, grandparents and carers for that!
Supporting reading at home
As an ECaR (Every Child a Reader) school, we have book banded our books and children progress through the coloured book bands. You will notice that your child's book from school has a coloured tab on it. This indicates the colour they are reading. Children will have their reading level checked frequently by the teacher. When children are confident reading at one level they will be assessed (we call this benchmarking as it is a method of assessing if a child is ready to read the next level book).
To help parents with supporting their children at home we have, as an ECaR team, developed coloured bookmarks which help parents to know what book level children should be reading at for their year group.
We have great partnerships with parents as reading volunteers as well as local businesses. We value the benefit that the reading volunteers bring to our children and are always happy for new people to join our reading volunteer team. If you are interested then please contact the office or Emma Cutmore.