The primary approach to teaching pupils to read at Cannon Lane Primary school is through the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics. This means that phonics is explicit, organised, sequenced and covers all of the grapheme-phoneme correspondences in the English Language. At Cannon Lane we follow the Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds Revised programme; this is a structured programme which introduces pupils to phonemes and graphemes in a specific order within the context of a language-rich curriculum and follows specific skill-based reading sessions for each child. By having fidelity to the Little Wandle Programme, pupils are able to see the relationship between reading and spelling from an early stage, such that the teaching of one reinforces understanding of the other.
Children are taught in whole-class lessons that follow the Little Wandle scheme. Each lesson follows is structured and consistent, and the children work on recognising graphemes, letter formation, oral blending, segmenting and blending with a teacher and independently and spelling. At the end of every lesson a game is played to help consolidate the learning.
To support the children outside of their phonics lessons, we provide the children with a rich reading environment. It is our belief that children should be engaged in the exploration of exciting and stimulating contexts for reading words with purposes for learning. Within class and around school, the children are surrounded by a love for reading and will regularly be exposed to shared, guided and independent reading.
Although by the end of Year 1 the teaching of phonics should be substantially complete, the teaching of word structures and spelling patterns continue to be learnt in Year 2 and this is further secured by the teaching and learning of spelling in Key Stage 2.
All children are screened in Phonics at the end of Year 1, those who do not reach the threshold are provided with intervention and re-take the phonics screening check in Year 2.
How often do we teach phonics?
To ensure that the children have as much exposure to reading as possible, phonics is taught daily for 20 minutes a day in Reception and Year 1. In Year 2, phonics is taught until all children have completed the Little Wandle programme. These are taught as discrete lessons and follow the Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds Revised scheme. Any child who has not fully understood the phonics (assessed through half-termly assessments of the children) are put into 'Catch-Up' Phonics groups where the gaps in their knowledge and understanding are filled.
How often is reading taught?
In Reception and Year 1, there is a 20 minute reading session that is taught in line with the Little Wandle scheme where three key reading skills are taught. Each child has 3 sessions a week that are 20 minutes long where one of the skills is focused on with a member of staff who is trained by Little Wandle. In total, each child reads for an hour a week with an adult at school before the reading books are sent home.
Our 3 Reading Skills:
Children work on segmenting the words that are written on the page to have meaning. The meaning of a variety of vocabulary from the text is discussed. This is taking the individual phonemes and turning them into words that are understood.
Children work on rhythmic and intonational aspect of speech that manifests as expressive reading. It comprises timing, phrasing and intonation, and helps to convey meaning and add ‘life’ to reading.
Children answer a variety of questions that can be answered with the text. They need to find the answers in the book or use the 'clues' in the book for inference and deduction.
Please find the presentation below from the Phonics and Early Reading workshop that was provided to parents. In this, you will find information on how to access Collins E-Books, how you can best support your child at home with reading, and how to help with phonics at home.
Please find a series of helpful resources from Little Wandle that may be of use to parents and carers at home.