At Swalwell Primary School we aim to foster a lifelong love of reading in our pupils. We recognise that reading is the key to unlocking knowledge and ensuring that our children are proficient readers allows them to access the whole curriculum and gives them a key life skill. Adults in our school lead by example, modelling enthusiasm for and engagement with books.
Phonics is given high priority at Swalwell, with daily sessions in Early Years and Key Stage 1. Children in our Nursery classes take part in small group phonic sessions following Letters and Sounds Phase 1, which lead to proficiency in the discrimination between varieties of sounds, ensuring a positive start to their reading career. Children who have poor speaking and listening skills access the Early Talk Boost programme.
We follow the structured synthetic phonics programme Floppy’s Phonics. This is taught in Reception and KS1, with all children in the class being taught the same ‘code’ together and then those needing it are given additional intervention as required. The new code that children are taught will come home in a phonics journal to be practised at home. Children are routinely assessed on their ability to recognise graphemes, to blend and segment phonemes, as well as their ability to use phonemes to read captions and sentences. For more information on our phonics scheme please see the presentation attached, visit www.oxfordowl.co.uk or attend one of our family phonics sessions.
At Swalwell we follow National Curriculum objectives for reading. In Early Years and Key Stage One, our guided reading is closely matched to the phonic skills of our developing readers. Where children are still learning new phonemes and practicing decoding, this is the main objective of guided reading sessions. Texts are carefully chosen to support this. However, even at this early stage, children are exposed to both fiction and non-fiction texts to develop their understanding and enjoyment of reading. In Key Stage 2, whole class differentiated guided reading lessons are planned and delivered which focus on the key skills of reading comprehension. For these sessions a longer quality text will be chosen to be studied over the term. In Years 5 and 6 the pupils have access to Reading plus – an online tailored reading programme. Our staff and volunteers listen to children reading 1:1 on a weekly basis and this forms part of the ongoing assessment. Additionally, all children have the opportunity to visit the school library selecting a book from a wide range of good quality, appealing fiction and non-fiction texts to continue to promote a love of reading.
Reading at Home
At Swalwell we ask for an adult to read with their child at least 3 times a week. Each child has a reading diary which provides a link between home and school and is taken home every day. It is widely recognised regular practice allows children to develop their reading skills as well as enjoying a wide variety of texts and discovering the pleasure and excitement of reading. In EYFS and KS1 your child will bring home 2 books: one will be matched to the phonic code they have been learning, the other will be non-decodable and is intended for you to read with them. In KS2 children select their own home reading book (often with guidance) from within the band they are currently working at. We hold ‘Read and Relax’ sessions throughout the year where you can some and share a story with your child.
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