At St Bridget’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery, we use the highly successful Read Write Inc Phonics programme to teach our children to read, write and spell. Children begin their phonics journey in the final two terms of their time in Nursery. The children are introduced to the pictures and phrases for each of the single letter sounds. When children enter Reception the children learn the written grapheme for each of the Set 1 sounds including special friends (graphemes consisting of two or more letters). Typically, children at the end of Reception will be secure in all the Set 1 sounds and some of the Set 2 sounds. As children progress from Reception into Year 1 and Year 2, they continue to learn all the sounds in Set 2 and Set 3 before finally completing the programme sometime during Year 2. Each Read Write Inc lesson is taught by a trained adult and has the same structure so children focus on the new learning rather than worrying about what is going to happen next. Children who still need to access phonics in Key Stage 2 also have daily Read Write Inc lessons to ensure they catch up. Specific children from Reception upwards may also receive 1-1 tutoring to enable them to catch up and secure sounds to progress into the next group.
Our youngest learners develop their very early reading skills in our language-rich environments, with a curriculum that provides rich opportunities to listen to and engage actively in a range of stories, rhymes and songs.
Key Stage 1
Reading is taught discretely through the daily Read Write Inc storybook lessons, where all children access a range of texts linked to the set of sounds they are working on in phonics. Children also engage with a range of classic and contemporary texts, which are taught through Talk Through Stories and Talk For Writing activities. Children use a range of skills in these activities: predicting what a story is about, learning texts through story mapping, highlighting key words in texts to answer questions, summarise plots, make links between texts and use new vocabulary in context.
Key Stage 2
At Key Stage 2, all classes take part in whole class guided reading centred around the VIPERS reading skills (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Summary). All children are involved in whole class reading to ensure that everyone in the class has exposure to age appropriate texts. Teachers carefully choose a variety of medium to teach reading, including newspaper articles, video clips, extracts from novels etc., covering a breadth of topics. The texts are carefully selected to ensure children will be appropriately challenged with the level of vocabulary and to ensure that they are relevant to topics, current world events and the interests of the children. In KS2, children are supported to choose reading books to read for pleasure at an appropriate level to their reading ability and to further develop their knowledge of different authors. We use ‘Running Records’ to assess which level of book would provide the optimal level of challenge to ensure children’s books are closely linked to their ability. Once children become confident and fluent readers, they are able to have free choice from the classroom library and are encouraged to read a wide range of books by different authors.