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English - Reading (including phonics)

Early Reading at Kew Riverside

Our Intent

Phonics (reading and spelling)

At Kew Riverside we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. We adopt an explicit and systematic approach to the teaching of phonics and reading, using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme. Research shows that the most effective way of teaching young children to read is through phonics, when this is taught in a systematic, synthetic way, starting with the easiest letter-sound correspondences and progressing to the more complex. We believe being able to read is integral to children’s learning and development, both in school and beyond.

To ensure children become independent, confident readers at the earliest possible opportunity, we teach children the necessary phonics skills to enable them to decode and understand language as they start with us in Reception. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression , which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. Thorough our approach to teaching phonics, we aim for all of our children to be competent, fluent word readers, and increasingly accurate spellers, by the end of Key Stage One to ensure they are ready to ‘read to learn’ as they start in Key Stage Two.

By the end of Key Stage 1 we aim for children to:

  • confidently apply phonic knowledge and skills as the main route to decode unknown words
  • segment and blend words with confidence so that decoding skills provide a sound foundation for reading and spelling words
  • have a good level of phonemic awareness, using e.g. knowledge of aural discrimination and rhyme to aid reading and spelling
  • apply their phonic knowledge to access learning across all areas of the curriculum
  • know the 40+ phonemes within the English language, including relevant alternatives
  • recognise taught tricky (common exception) words by sight and spell these, identifying unusual correspondences between letters and sounds
  • read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure.

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.