Early Reading

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

  • Daily 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.
  • Whole Class Reading sessions whereby the children re 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 engage and challenge keen readers.
  • All children from Pre-school to Year 6 are issued a reading book that is appropriate for their reading ability and is changed daily. Children who are not yet ‘free readers’, will work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the children’s current reading age. We expect family at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
  • In addition to this, it is our policy that all children are required to read their book at least three times a week.
  • 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 ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme of sound teaching as mentioned above. We start teaching children in Nursery and Pre-school Phase One which allows children to become aware of the sounds they hear in their immediate environments, as well as the sounds they can create themselves, using their body or instruments. When children reach Reception, we move on to Phase Two, which introduces the children 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 Early Years and Key Stage One, children are taught in small and focussed 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 closely matched 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.