Early reading at St. Joseph the Worker School
After considerable research we have selected the Bug Club Phonics Scheme (Bug). As a school the children achieve good results in phonics and reading and we wanted a scheme that would develop and enhance our existing practice. We identified that the spelling element of phonics was something that we need more focus on, and Bug Club Phonics includes a spelling and writing activity within each lesson. We use other Activelearn resources within the curriculum and felt the consistency would support teachers, children and parents. Bug provide an outline of 30 units to cover throughout Reception and Year 1 and we have organised these units into termly expectations across the two year groups.
At St. Joseph the Worker School we are very fortunate to have extensive Infant and Junior libraries, as well as a wide range of books in each classroom; fiction, non- fiction and poetry. In the Infants, our reading scheme books are organised using Book Banding. We also have a wide range of decodable books and have used Bug decodable books for a number of years. This helped with a seamless transition with the Bug phonics scheme. The children also have access to a variety of decodable books online, using their same login for all Activelearn resources. In Reception and year 1, the children take home 2 decodable books and are also allocated 2 on Activelearn each week. Additionally, on a Friday the children take home a Book Banded book and a library book to enhance their enjoyment and breadth of reading experience.
Throughout the week, each teacher across the school reads with the children in their class and discusses what has been read. This allows teachers to have regular and immediate knowledge of children’s reading progress and allow them to ensure that children are reading books correctly matched to their ability. This does not just include word reading and decoding, but also comprehension skills as well.
Children who may need a little more support also read daily with other adults in the class. Teachers are very quick to identify children who need extra support
and provide a number of interventions including: reading enhancement, group and individual phonics and group reading.
Links with parents.
Every child has a Home/ School Reading Record Book where both teachers and parents share when the children read. We are very fortunate to have supportive parents who are keen to help their children at home where they can.
High Frequency Words (HFW) that are learnt in school are sent home in a booklet for children to revisit; allowing parents to know which words the children are focusing on. These words are aligned with the HFWs in the Bug Scheme. The children also work individually with a teaching assistant each week reading these words.
The children also work individually each week with an adult reading phonically decodable words matched to the sounds covered in phonic sessions. The children take home these words in phonics books to reinforce and revisit the sounds learnt in school.
Reading at Home
Children take home reading books each week; choosing from fiction, non-fiction or poetry texts. These start as decodable books linked to the phonemes being covered in class as well as being matched to the child’s reading ability. The children are also allocated decodable books through the Bug phonics scheme online, that can be accessed and enjoyed at home. Children also read other scheme books to provide a breadth and range of different books. In the Infants the children also take home a library book and Book Banded books to enjoy with an adult. We encourage the children to read and enjoy a range of different books and have a wide selection of scheme, picture and chapter books available for the children as they move from Reception, to year 1 and into year 2.
Moving into KS2
In KS2 the children who need them, still have access to decodable books and books matched to their reading level. Teachers use Spelling Frame, which is an engaging resource for Junior children to help them revisit blending and segmenting phonemes covered in EYFS and KS1.