Learning to read is a life-long achievement and the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends upon this skill and so at All Saints we put as much energy into ensuring that every single child not only learns to read but learns to love reading.
At All Saints we use Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics which has been carefully chosen to ensure our children get off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing. Our approach to phonics is rigorous, systematic and all Teachers teaching phonics ensure fidelity to the programme.
Phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter groups into sounds that are then blended together into a word. The scheme is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Through Read Write Inc phonics children learn a simple alphabetic code followed by a more complex code. All reading books progress cumulatively, matched to the sounds children are learning and already know.
We start the systematic teaching of phonics throughout Nursery and Reception.The children learn to recognise the shape of letters and the sound they make. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.
Children are taught to:
- say the pure sounds ('mmm' not 'muh', 'sss' not 'suh' etc. see videos to hear pure sounds) to decode letter/sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly and use their phonic knowledge and skills to see a letter, or group of letters and say the corresponding sound.
- say words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. m-a-t = mat, sh-o-p = shop. Children then learn to read words by saying the sounds in a word then blending them together to say the whole word.
- read ‘tricky’ (red words) on sight such as ‘come,’ ‘was,’ ‘said’ and ‘you’. These are words where one part of the word is trying to trick the children. We teach them to look at the word and spot the part that is trying to trick us.
- understand what they read
- read aloud with fluency and expression
- spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words. They use ‘Fred Fingers’ to say each of the sounds they can hear in a word before they attempt to write it.
- develop pencil control, form letters correctly and acquire good handwriting
The children practise their reading with books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘red words’. This is so that, early on, they experience success and quickly begin to see themselves as readers.
Please help your child to practise reading for at least 15 minutes every day at home. We cannot stress enough how important this is.
Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception, Year 1 and those in Year 2 who have not passed the phonics screening in Year 1 or completed the Read, Write Inc phonics programme. Children work through the scheme at their own pace and are assessed and grouped regularly according to their current ability. The scheme is split into 3 sets of sounds. Our aim is for most children to be finished Read Write Inc Phonics by the end of Year 1 or shortly after they start Year 2. They will then start on our Spelling Shed Spelling Programme.
Children at All Saints will receive a closely matched Read Write Inc bookbag book each week alongside a Big Cat Collins reading book. Your child should be able to read the RWI book to you independently, whereas you may need to support your child with their Big Cat book at times.
Mrs Kerr is our reading and phonics lead, if you have any questions about phonics please feel free to ask her.
We place reading at the forefront of all curriculum. Our whole priority this academic year is to transform our reading culture. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give our children the tools to become independent life-long learners.
All children who are accessing RWI Phonics will receive two reading books. One reading book that matches their phonics skills and knowledge and the sounds that they are currently learning - we call this an 'I can' book as children can read this themselves. They have a second book, a 'we can' book to share together with an adult to develop their love of reading. ‘We can’ books will usually be ‘Big Cat Collins’.
When children have completed the RWI phonics programme they will have an Accelerated Reader levelled book matching their word reading and comprehension ability. Children are given a ZPD (range of books they can take home) based on their termly reading assessment. We have an enormous collection of books that the children can read and take home. Each class has a Library slot within the school timetable, and the children are encouraged to choose a book for pleasure or a book to be read aloud to them.
Reading is taught during English lessons; children will become familiar with a text / story that will be used for their writing. During this time children will take part in a range of tasks that develop their understanding of this text. Children also access comprehension lessons with a focus on VIPERS to support the teaching of reading and these are evident in teaching sessions. They will be asked questions linked with: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and sequence/summarise.
At All Saints we actively encourage reading for pleasure and recognise it as a core part of every child’s education, regardless of their background or attainment. We make reading a key part of our curriculum and expose pupils to a wide range of texts in a variety of different situations.
We take the view that extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts makes a vital contribution to every child’s educational achievement.
Reading for pleasure aims to establish each child as a lifetime reader. Studies emphasise the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational as well as personal development. They show that promoting reading can have a major impact on children, their future and their life chances.
As part of the children’s reading ‘diet’ each class follows a reading spine across the year of books they will read to their children during storytimes. Please click the text below to access the reading spine for Nursery to Year 6.
How we promote a love of reading at All Saints
- Reading Mufti Rewards - when children read at least 3x for a whole half term they gain a mufti ticket
- Visits to and from the Local Library (Wellingborough Library)
- Class Book corners that reflect the current topic and recommended authors
- Daily story time sessions
- Weekly Class award for the class who has had the most readers of the week
- Weekly timetabled school library sessions
- Set reading challenges
- Children have a ‘Reading for Pleasure book’ each week
- Mystery Reader - a parent can come and be a Mystery Reader for their child’s class for a story time. Please message your child’s class teacher via Class Dojo to sign up!
At All Saints we use the powerful approach of The Talk for Writing as it is based on the research of how children learn. It enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’, as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence, with the class teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.
At All Saints we underpin our English work through our established core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon. Imaginative units of work are developed to create a whole-school plan that has been refined for this year so that the teachers at All Saints can prioritise and focus on adapting their teaching for children’s learning.
The key phases of the Talk for Writing process enables children to imitate orally the language they need for a particular topic and learning vocabulary and grammar in the context of a model text, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own independent pieces of writing.
Writing at All Saints is based around a ‘Hot Write’ schedule that follows the teaching approach of Talk for Writing. Children spend a range of time preparing for their hot task (independent write). During the weeks prior to a hot task the children learn all of the skills needed to be successful in the particular hot task. These hot tasks are frequently based around a key text or video that stimulates the children’s imagination. During writing lessons children will learn spellings, grammar, handwriting and sentence structure in line with the schools progression framework.
Imitation (Week 1)
Innovation (Week 2)
Independent Application (Week 3)
The Imitation Stage The teacher establishes a creative context for each ‘Talk for Writing’ unit with a ‘hook’ to draw the children in.
Teachers then introduce children to an exemplar text, supported visually by a text map. Actions are created to help the children recall the story or non-fiction piece and reinforce the specific language patterns.
In this way, children hear the text, say it for themselves and enjoy it before actually seeing it written down. Children interact with the text through drama activities and internalise the language patterns through sentence and word games based on the text.
Once they have internalised the language of the text, they are introduced to the written text and encouraged to identify the key writing ingredients and ‘magpie’ key words and phrases.
Children will develop their understanding of the structure of the text with the use of the boxing-up technique and by analysing the key features
Once the children have internalised the text, they are then ready to start innovating on the pattern of the text. Using an adaptation of the text, children orally rehearse what they want to say then create their own version.
During innovation, spelling, sentence games and drama activities continue to be incorporated so that children have a wealth of oral and written practice in the language features required to write. The key activity in this stage is shared writing – which helps the children to create their own version by ‘doing one together’ first.
This begins with the children boxing-up their innovated version of the exemplar text. Each stage of the writing process is modelled by the teacher.
Throughout this process key words and phrases and shared writing are displayed so when children begin to write they have models and examples to support them. Children are encouraged to swap their work with a response partner to discuss their successes
In this stage, children move towards becoming independent writers.
They write the same text type but choose the content. This stage still requires a ‘hook’, games to help children to internalise the language patterns and understand the text, boxing up and shared writing (driven by teacher assessment).
Teachers guide children through the whole process which ends with rereading and polishing.
Handwriting at All Saints is taught using the Kinetic Letters handwriting scheme. This approach starts in nursery and runs all the way to year 6. The school has invested heavily in the scheme with all classrooms having specially trained staff. The school also has a wide range of resources linked with Kinetic Letters such as, story books, whiteboards and pupil target books.