At Wimbledon Chase, reading is at the core of our curriculum offer. Through carefully selected high quality texts, coherent teaching sequences and a priority placed on early reading, Wimbledon Chase provides an ambitious, broad and balanced reading curriculum. Our readers will become lifelong readers. They read not just for necessity but for their own pleasure. They develop their critical thinking and are highly imaginative learners. As a result, the children develop rich vocabulary and advanced comprehension skills, which they purposefully apply to a range of contexts.
How we teach Reading at Wimbledon Chase Primary School
Through meticulously planned reading opportunities including the use of a universal language, the children are equipped with tools to tackle a range of unfamiliar text. Our readers are encouraged to absorb, understand, retain and articulate information across all curriculum areas and become confident communicators capable of forming and sharing their opinions in school and beyond.
Reading lessons will include:
- An element of prosody (reading with feeling).
- Opportunities to read for pleasure.
- Phonics in small groups or interventions until no longer required.
- Regular, open ended discussions about stories and books.
- Opportunities to read and discuss a wide read of genres, including poetry and non-fiction. Our books give all children the opportunity to read texts where they can identify with the characters, the author or both.
We also have a number of reading enrichment activities, including:
- Regular visits from authors and poets throughout the school year.
- Celebrations for World Book Week which includes inspiring reading activities, competitions and different ways to showcase the children’s favourite author/s.
- In addition, 1:1 reading and small group sessions are put in place for children who need to boost their reading skills. Books that the children take home are carefully chosen to match the children’s interests and their level of fluency.
Reading for pleasure at Wimbledon Chase Primary School
- Class reader read by the teacher
- Participation in local reading competitions including the summer reading challenge
- Visits to the school library
- Access to teachers reading stories on the school website
- Reading buddies - teaming up older and younger classes to share favourite books together
- Visits from authors (virtual or in person)/workshops
- Participation in World Book Week with enrichment events
- Participation in Wimbledon Book Fest
- Visits to the local library
Reading environments and choice:
- An engaging, clearly labelled, tidy book corner with a range of classic and new, high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts that will include authors from different backgrounds.
- Quiet reading spots available in school/playgrounds so that children can read books throughout their playtimes.
- Newspapers made available and regularly changed so that children can keep up to date with current affairs in KS2.
- Advice on how to choose a book that they will like and exposure to new authors and genres.
- Time every week to choose a book and read for pleasure.
- Dedicated time where an adult will read to them.
- Time each week to read to an adult and other children in the classroom.
- Daily opportunities to engage in quality book talk.
- Teachers who have regular training sessions and are kept up to date with pedagogical developments.
- Enthusiastic teachers with good knowledge of children’s books and enjoy participating in book talk.
- Teachers and support staff who are motivated and participate wholeheartedly in reading enrichment activities such as ‘the masked reader’.
- Teachers and support staff who model the love of reading.
We believe that for all our children to become fluent, life long readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme. Research tells us that reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child's success and a firm understanding of phonics is essential to becoming a passionate reader.
We Little Wandle Letters and Sounds to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery. A specific sequence of letter sounds are taught to allow our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Wimbledon Chase, we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
How we teach Phonics at Wimbledon Chase
In the Nursery, the development of language skills is a high priority. The children are taught through activities, songs, stories and rhymes. The focus is on developing the seven aspects of phase 1 phonics.
In Reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within the Little Wandle programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is explicit teaching of high frequency and tricky words at the end of the week.
Phonics starts in Reception in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start. By the end of reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long. By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
In Y2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions following the school’s model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.
Reading practice sessions
Children across Reception, Year 1, Year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable text to the corresponding sounds being taught.
In Reception and Year 1 the children read with an adult at least twice a week using fully decodable and non- decodable books.
In Year 2, the children read weekly in small guided reading groups. In addition children who need targeted support read with an adult at least once a week.
How do we assess phonic knowledge?
In Reception, the teacher's formative assessment provides a clear picture of a children’s phonics knowledge and in Year 1 there is an assessment at the end of each phonic phase to inform the children’s next steps in learning. Children identified in Reception and Year 1 to be at risk of falling behind are immediately identified and weekly ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place.
The children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term. Children who are in Year 2 - Year 6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are supported with 1-1 or small group intervention. The children are assessed through the teacher's ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments. Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, will have another opportunity in Year 2.
At Wimbledon Chase, English is at the foundation of our curriculum. We aim to elevate the importance in the proficiency of writing across the whole curriculum, equipping generations of confident and practised writers.
Writing across the curriculum is taught through a range of inspiring stimuli which includes high quality texts, film, oracy, artefacts, visitors and real-life experiences. We strive to provide the children with attention-grabbing opportunities to develop a rich vocabulary. This includes closing the word gap by asking, ‘How can we use language for learning effectively in order to improve achievement in writing across the curriculum and bring their writing to life?’ As a result the children will have a passion for writing that will lead to success in further education, enjoyment and personal life endeavours.
How we teach Writing at Wimbledon Chase
At Wimbledon Chase Primary School, children are immersed in high quality texts, which can be related to a topic. They study these texts, with oracy at the core of the children’s learning. The children ‘learn how to talk, so they can talk to learn’ through key and planned oracy lessons; these link with vocabulary, grammar and topic objectives. In addition, the children take part in related trips or events, as well as meeting visiting authors. These events give them the opportunity to deepen their knowledge, understanding and inform their writing. The result is children who write and communicate with accurate terminology and confidence.
Children encounter progressive vocabulary, grammar and oracy skills across the school. Gaps are identified and revisited as a whole class, in small groups or one to one to ensure all children have the opportunity to master the concepts thoroughly. Classrooms/lessons include scaffolded resources and displays to support and guide the children’s learning. These include vocabulary banks, tiered vocabulary displays/new vocabulary of the day oracy tasks - all based on the class text/topic, sentence stems and grammar structures.
Children chunk a piece of writing over a number of days, depending on the task, to ensure the children are given sufficient opportunities to create a quality piece; this also helps build stamina for writing. In addition, this approach allows the children who find the physical aspects of writing a challenge the opportunity to achieve.
Children are given the chance to edit and improve their writing during FIT time - further improvement time. FIT time can be completed as a whole class, where appropriate or individually. The FIT time objective/s is/are set and modelled by the class teacher and reinforced with a short task/s; wish/es. Children discuss their next steps with their class teacher and these are shared with the children’s parents/adults.