Early Reading

At Ernesettle Community School, we believe that reading and writing are essential life skills, and we are dedicated to enabling our children to become enthused, engaged and successful lifelong readers and writers. To support this, we implement the following:

  • Daily Read Write Inc (RWI) Phonics sessions, whereby the children learn new phonemes, improve their ability to segment and blend sounds, and their ability to apply this knowledge into their reading and writing.
  • All children from Reception to Year 6 are issued a RWI book and RWI bookbag book that is matched directly to their reading ability. We expect families at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record. As we hold reading at the heart of our curriculum, our policy is that all children are required to read their RWI books at least five times a week.
  • Children in Pre-School are issued with a ‘Share and Enjoy’ book to help promote a love of reading to develop early reading skills. In preparation for beginning Reception, children in Pre-School begin RWI in the Spring term through play-based phonics activities. ‘Share and Enjoy’ books are also given to children in Reception and Key Stage One to continue developing a love of reading whilst exposing them to different reading genres.
  • Whole Class Reading sessions whereby the children are exposed to high-quality texts that they can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these, which in turn, inspires the children’s own reading and writing ability.
  • All classes are equipped with a wide range of reading books to meet the needs of all children in the classroom, which also engages and challenge keen readers.
  • Children in every year group are read to by their teacher every day. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.

How is Early Reading taught at Ernesettle Community School?

In practice, children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and are taught how to blend these sounds to decode (read) words. At Ernesettle Community School, we follow the Read Write Inc programme of teaching. When children reach Reception, we introduce them to 23 new phonemes. During this phase the children will learn to recognise, form and use these sounds in simple consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words to begin to read and write simple words and captions. Once they have conquered this skill, they start reading stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. Once secure, the children move on to the next phase whereby they will learn new sounds, improve their reading fluency and develop a greater writing ability. Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment.

Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage One, children are taught in small and focused groups to target their specific needs for Phonics, alongside children of the same ability. Teachers and Teaching and Learning Assistants regularly assess the children in their group and converse with the teacher daily so that all planning meets the needs of the children in that group, therefore ensuring all children are confident before moving onto a new phonics phase.

We make sure that pupils read books that are matched directly to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so they experience early reading success and gain confidence that they are readers, as well as consolidating the learning that takes place in school.

All class reading books shared with children have been specifically chosen to support language development, storytelling and to continually develop our children’s love and passion for reading. The Early Years environment has been carefully planned so that it provides opportunities for reading in all areas of the classroom; creating comfortable pockets similar to the environments they experience at home, where children feel comfortable and confident to curl up with a good book.