Reading and Phonics
At Waltham-on-the-Wolds we want our children to become enthusiastic and engaged readers, and to develop a life-long love of books.
We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class, core-text approach to teaching reading, and during their weekly guided reading session.
In the early stages of reading, we teach children to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach, alongside we teach sight vocabulary using the Read Write Inc programme. Once grasped, the focus for developing reading is understanding and comprehension.
Children are taught the essential skills of reading (decoding and comprehension) whilst also using a rich and varied range of literature to further extend their knowledge and vocabulary. Our culture of reading helps children to foster a love of books and encourages them to read for pleasure.
We have a wide range of books that inspire children to learn to read; these are carefully matched to the children’s reading ability and interests. We also have a small but well-stocked library where the children can borrow books to enjoy and read at home as well as in school.
As part of our English curriculum, each class undertakes a novel study each half term where they dig deeper into a novel to find hidden meanings and to be transported into the world of that novel. This allows the children’s imagination to go wild, as their writing tasks revolve around that particular novel.
Please visit Books for Topics for more suggested reading.
Visit the Oxford Owl website which has over 100 free e-books for you to enjoy with your child.
Home Reading and Reading for Pleasure
Developing readers will bring home levelled books each week. Independent readers will bring home self-selected books from their book corner or the library. Please spend time reading with and talking to your child about what they read, and help them to use their reading record to record their enjoyment of reading.
Below are recommended reading lists for each year group.
At Waltham, phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Key Stage 1. We use the Read Write Inc programme to teach children the phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (how the sounds are written).
Our children learn 'pure sounds' and parents are encouraged to reinforce this at home.
The children are taught to read words by blending, which means saying each sound and then pushing all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.
By the end of Reception children are expected to know all of set 1 sounds. Set 1 sounds are the initial letter ‘speed sounds’, which children are taught to recognise rapidly. They are taught in the following order: m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk.
By the end of Year 1 all children are expected to know all set 2 and 3 sounds. When children progress to Set 2, they will learn more representations of the sounds (e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high). Every sound has a list of green words linked to it, so your child can ‘sound out’ and ‘blend’ words containing the new sound they have just learnt (for example s-p-r-ay = spray).
When learning their Set 3 sounds, they will be taught that there are alternative graphemes for each sound, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.
The children then move away from learning sounds and focus on spelling rules and patterns.
At the end of Year 1 all children in England take a test called a ‘Phonics Screening Check’. They have to read 40 real and nonsense words. We call them nonsense words or ‘Alien words’ and the children practise reading them every day.
Find out more information on the Read Write Inc website by following the links below:
- Read Write Inc Phonics - reading and writing kits developed for parents who want to support their child’s phonics learning at home.
- How To Videos - a series of videos to help parents better understand how phonics is taught in school.
- Reading at Home - advice for parents on supporting children at home.
From Year 2 to Year 6, our comprehensive spelling programme combines the teaching and application of spelling rules and patterns with elements of punctuation and grammar appropriate to their ability and age.
Older children are set weekly spelling lists to learn, based on their spelling focus in class. These are tested on a weekly basis.
Find out more information in the documents below:
- English National Curriculum - Spelling
- Cursive Letter Formation
- Complex Sound Chart - the chart is used in the classroom to help decide which sound to use in their spelling; this resources can be used at home too.