Phonics and Reading

Reading at Crown Lane

Phonics

We use a programme called Read, Write, Inc to teach phonics to children from Reception up to Year 3. Read, Write, Inc (RWI) is a synthetic phonics programme which is implemented consistently and and rigourously to ensure all children learn to read by the end of Key Stage 1.

Through the RWI programme, children learn how to blend letter sounds together to read and write confidently and fluently. All children from Reception to Year 3 have been individually assessed and placed into small ability groups. Each group is led by either a teacher or teaching assistant who has been on a two day training programme to deliver the programme.

When using RWI to read, the children will:

  • Learn the 44 sounds of the English language and the corresponding letter / letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • Learn to read words by using ‘Fred Talk’ (sounding out each sound in the word)
  • Read stories featuring the words they have learned to sound out
  • Show that they understand what they have read by answering questions

When using RWI to write, the children will:

  • Learn to write the letters / letter groups which represent the 44 sounds of the English language
  • Learn to write words by using ‘Fred Talk’ (sounding out each sound in the word)
  • Write simple sentences

Within the programme children also develop accurate letter formation through the use of rhymes.

RWI is designed for children to progress through at their own pace. We assess every child each term and then move children within groups to ensure they make rapid progress through the programme. Once your child is reading at a Level 2a, they will complete the programme and begin a spelling programme linked to the new National Curriculum expectations.

In addition to RWI, all children have a separate Literacy lesson with their whole class. During this lesson they further develop their writing skills alongside speaking and listening and drama activities. Children also develop an understanding of a variety of genres and complete work relating to their topic.

Whole Class Reading

At Crown Lane, all children from Reception to Year 6 take part in a daily Whole Class Reading session. This is a session of approximately half an hour where children focus on developing their reading skills. Children work as a class to focus on a different reading skill each week, all based on the National Curriculum.  Over the week, they will: be introduced to a key reading skill, carry out specific activities to practice this skill, read a text to practice using this skill and then be given more independent tasks to practice this skill further. 

When working independently, children will complete activities related to an objective such as: researching on the ipads around a theme in the text; answering questions about the book they are reading; writing activities such as – diary entry, a letter, character profile; a comprehension task;a drama response to book; a book review; and many more.

Throughout the whole week's reading sessions, there will be a focus on understanding new vocabulary by looking at the context it is in, thinking about similar words and word families, using dictionaries and using the vocabulary in different contexts.

Home School Reading

Each week your child will bring home a levelled reading book that has been chosen for them by their class teacher.  This book is designed to be a slight challenge for your child – this may be in the language the book contains or the theme of the text. Your child’s book will be changed weekly. Over the year, your child should read a range of genres (stories, poetry, non fiction, graphic novels etc). Your child will also be able to choose an independent reader from their class library. They can change this as often as they wish.

All children also bring home a Crown Lane Reading Journal. Within the reading journal, children and parents are able to make comments on the book that has been brought home, such as things the child liked and didn't like about it, new vocabulary found, whether they would recommend the book to others and so on.  Teachers look at these journals every week and will often comment back as well.

Recommended Reading Lists

Below are suggestions for high-quality books for further reading, if you are looking for ideas:

Recommended Reading for Reception

Recommended Reading for Year 1

Recommended Reading for Year 2

Recommended Reading for Year 3

Recommended Reading for Year 4

Recommended Reading for Year 5

Recommended Reading for Year 6