The school uses the Read Write Inc scheme for phonics teaching. Children are assessed on entry to the school and are taught in 6 week blocks before being assessed again and regrouped accordingly. Most children make rapid progress through the scheme which is currently delivered 4 times per week, with those who need it being able to repeat levels to reinforce the skills taught. The aim is to keep the groups small to create the environment for rapid learning.
We have recently invested a lot of money into buying new reading books, covering a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We have also invested in books that are appropriate for our older EAL children who are new to the country; books that have simpler phonics but more sophisticated themes. Each book has been labelled with a colour and catalogued into a ‘phase’, with each class teacher identifying which colours were needed in their classroom, and a new reading scheme was devised.
How it works:
- Each child is given a colour and phase, depending on their reading ability e.g. Gold Phase One or Grey Phase Three. A child with an appropriate reading book should find a few words challenging but should be able to use strategies to help with this most of the time e.g. using the pictures for prompts, sounding out or making a sensible guess based on the rest of the sentence or paragraph. They should also be able to answer questions on what they have read.
- They choose a book to read and that is marked on a sheet that the child takes home. On this sheet is a list of all of the books in the current phase and a comment box underneath each book title. A parent, sibling or anybody else who listens to the child read – including the child themselves – can write a comment underneath to explain how they have found reading the book.
- When a child has finished the book they are reading, they need to decide whether or not they would recommend the book to another child. If they would, they write their name and the date into the front ‘recommendations’ section. They can then choose another book from their phase.
- A child does not have to read all of the books in their phase in order to move on; this will be determined by the adults who regularly read with them in their classroom.