Reading & Phonics

Reading at West Grove

Our aim is for all children to leave West Grove with a lifelong love of reading. We ensure all children have developed their ‘reading mind’ through learning to read fluently, developing comprehension skills, reading for a range of purposes, enjoying stories and exploring diverse themes. We prioritise reading because we know it gives children access to a lifetime of learning.

Reading in Early Years and Key Stage 1

A rigorous start to reading begins with phonics, which we deliver through ‘Little Wandle Letters & Sounds’ programme, beginning children on phase one in Nursery and aiming for all children to reach phase five by the end of year one. Children are expected to apply their phonic knowledge throughout the curriculum and embed their reading skills through phonetically matched digital and real home reading books.

Class reading in early years focuses on one to one reading, allowing teachers to move children on quickly and ensure they are using their phonics knowledge effectively to decode and blend. Reading lessons in Key Stage One focus on embedding phonics through small group guided reading sessions, using banded books matched to their phonic level.

Key Stage Two

In Year 2 and Key Stage Two, our children move on to whole-class comprehension lessons, accessing a carefully mapped range of texts that cover a breadth of themes and text types and link to the wider curriculum when appropriate. In extended reading lessons, children read a longer text with a focus on developing fluency and comprehension. In close reading lessons, children look at a shorter extract in more detail, with carefully planned questions for deep discussion around particular themes and vocabulary choices. These lessons cover the key domains of reading development with teacher modelled question stems to check for understanding. Children then read once per week in a small guided reading group with their teacher to embed these skills.

Throughout the school, children enjoy daily shared reading of a class novel. These ambitious texts are carefully chosen to cover a range of themes and text types. In Key Stage Two, one reading lesson per week is dedicated to rich discussion around the class shared reading book.

Alongside these reading lessons, children access the Accelerated Reading scheme which matches text to reading age and encourages children to read with rewarding quizzes. Accelerated Reader is designed to create a culture of reading through choice and allow teachers to monitor reading progress and personalise instruction.

Promoting a love of reading

We encourage children to develop their love of reading with regular trips to our fantastic school library where they can select a free-choice reading book. We celebrate World Book Day, invite book fairs into school and host a range of events in school where parents can come and enjoy reading with their child. West Grove loves reading!