At St Patrick’s, we are committed to ensuring that every child who attends our school leaves us with the key life skill of the ability to read. All of our staff share the view that every child can learn to read with the right teaching and support. We acknowledge that not all children will have had the opportunity to develop a love of reading at home and, in our school, the backgrounds of many of our families mean parents are not able to support their children as young readers. We realise that this is our job and work relentlessly to support our young children in becoming competent readers, instilling from the outset our school mantra of ‘read every day’.
Our reading curriculum begins from the moment our children start at Saint Patrick’s with a Synthetic, Systematic Phonics Programme in place. We follow Read Write Inc as an evidence-based approach to the teaching of phonics and invest time and money in ensuring our staff are trained to the highest of standards. All children from Nursery to Year 2 engage in daily phonics teaching and our results and monitoring show an exemplary standard of teaching and learning. Whilst our children start school with high levels of deprivation, for the last two years (pre COVID) we have been in line or above the national average in the percentage of our children who have passed the phonics test. For our most vulnerable children and the lowest 20% of readers who may not pass their phonics assessment at the end of Year 2, daily phonics intervention with our highly skilled TAs are in place throughout Year 2 and Year 3 to equip children with decoding skills to be fluent readers.
From Year 2 onwards, we have adopted an academy-wide approach to ‘Whole Class Reading’ and have invested time in training staff members. The development of a joined up approach to Whole Class Reading across Romero is having a positive impact on teaching and learning: books and pupil voice are a testament to this. Extracts and books mapped out by Romero English Team have been carefully selected to ensure breadth, depth and progression across year groups and children access a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and song within reading lessons. The teaching of vocabulary is prioritised and is a key component of our teaching across the curriculum areas. We use a ‘VIPERS’ approach to teaching reading as a skills-based approach to comprehension.
At St Patrick’s, we place reading for pleasure at the heart of the English curriculum. Alongside our high-quality teaching of phonics and reading skills, we prioritise developing a love of reading in every child. Our staff are all advocates for reading and share their love of reading with the children. Daily story time takes place in every year group where children and staff read for enjoyment. We have invested money and time in developing our library and making it an engaging place for children, as well as having a yearly book fair. We are confident our pupils will leave St Patrick’s as fluent, capable readers with secure comprehension skills and a life-long love of words and books.
Read Write Inc. helps children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. Through RWI children learn the alphabetic code including 150+ graphemes that represent 44 speech sounds. These sounds are broken down into three sets: set 1, set 2 and set 3.
Speed sound lessons
These are at the center of all RWI, lessons and they are vital if the children are going to make expected progress. Structure of the lesson:
Word Time – reading
Word Time – spelling
In Read Write Inc. lessons children read a book three times. First read focuses on accurate word reading; the second on developing fluency; and the third on comprehension.
Accuracy – first read
Fluency – second read
The Five Principles
Purpose – the adult and children should be clear about the purpose of every activity.
Passion – show passion in order to engage the children and keep them motivated.
Pace – keep a quick pace in order to move children along quickly and not give them time to get bored.
Participation – every child should take part. Partner work is fundamental to learning!
Praise – always praise effort and progress – not ability.
Team stop signal – raise hand silently. Children should copy within 5 seconds.
Turn to your partner (TTYP) – silently point hands facing each other.
My turn your turn – point silently to self and then to children.
1,2,3 signal using hands – 1 stand silently… 2 walk silently to chair… 3 sit silently.
Collecting answers from children
Choral response – when there is only one answer gesture to the children with both hands to all respond together (Your turn signal)
Choose two – best used to gather responses that require explanations and reasons. Select two partners who have answers you can build on.
Paraphrase – paraphrase a child’s answer to either keep the learning moving along quickly or if a child is not confident enough to talk e.g. Tommy said…
Popcorn – when children call out one at a time when no one else is talking
Word wave – wave your hand over the children. They call out when your hand passes over their heads.
High fives, thumbs up, fireworks, truck driver, marshmallow clap, round of applause, tomato ketchup, fantastic.
For parents and carers
Here is a website to help you.