Reading and Phonics
At Ark Oval Primary we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading and writing. RWI is a method of learning based on letter sounds, and we use it to aid children in their early reading and writing.
Using RWI, children learn to read quickly and accurately. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
When using RWI to read the children will:
- learn that sounds are represented by written letters
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn how to blend sounds
- learn to read words using ‘Fred’ Talk – a frog who can only speak in sounds!
- read lively stories and non-fiction books featuring words they have learned to 'Fred talk'
- learn to read fluently using their 'talking voice.'
- show that they understand the stories by answering questions, linked to the same language and skills from the Ark Oval Progression in Reading Skills (See Reading section below).
When using RWI to write the children will:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
- learn to write words by saying the sounds in ‘Fred Talk’
- write simple sentences
Most children will complete the phonics programme by end of Autumn term in Year 2, and will begin a new programme called 'Speedy Readers.' The focus of this programme is to build on their decoding skills and develop speed, fluency and urgency for reading through fast-paced activities, allowing their mind to be free to focus on understanding what they read (see 'Reading' section below).
Children across the school who need phonic support continue to receive this daily until they have completed the RWI programme and are confident in decoding.
Click on this link: https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/ to find out more about Read Write Inc, including a video tutorial on how to pronounce the sounds.
Websites for further phonics learning
“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty. It should be presented as a gift.”
Our Reading Offer
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
Our vision is that every child at Ark Oval becomes a lifelong reader, not only for academic success but for enjoyment. We balance teaching daily reading skills with an enjoyment of literature though weekly library visits for every class, Library nights and daily DEAR ('Drop Everything and Read'.) Please click on the link below to view Ark Oval's Reading Provision.
Stage, not Age
Pupils at Ark Oval learn important reading skills in a daily lesson (alongside daily phonics for pupils on the programme). Our philosophy is based on 'Stage, not Age' and this is used to teach pupils skills in a way that they are all sufficiently challenged. Key skills are built upon at every reading stage in a 'mastery' approach, to allow pupils to practise and refine their reading skills with a core text at the heart of learning.
Some of the skills our pupils learn are:
- Making predictions based on background knowledge and clues from the title, cover and blurb of the book
- Learning rich vocabulary from the book and how to use it in other contexts
- Sequencing and summarising
- Fluency and speed reading skills
- Literal and retrieval skills
- Inference skills
- Discussion and debate skills where pupils are asked a philosophical question related to the text and debate this, using evidence from the text and their own experiences e.g. ‘Is it ever OK to steal?’
- Giving opinions on what they have read through discussions and book reviews
Our aim is for Ark Oval Pupils to leave school with the skills and good reading behaviours to be an independent, mature and critical reader:
- Enjoy reading extended and more challenging texts across a variety of genres (modern fiction, poetry, classics, non-fiction, newspapers, etc)
- Use reading to access the wider curriculum
- Think critically and question what they read
- ‘Become’ what they read, and what writers have to say, as well as beginning to notice the effect that writing has on them as a reader
Click on the documents below to view a description for each reading stage, and the full progression of skills from Reception to Year 6.
Library and Home Reading
Reading for enjoyment is a high priority in our school. Every class visits the library once a week in which they have the opportunity to change their book, write a book review and listen to their teacher read. Our fiction books are organised to reflect our 'Stage, not age' philosophy; pupils are encouraged to select books that match their current reading stage of development. We also have a wide range of non-fiction books, poems, newspapers & magazines, and dual language books to reflect our diverse community. Pupils can also listen to a wide range of books in our audio book station, or cuddle up with a book and a soft toy in our cosy seating area!
All pupils on the phonics programme also take home a decodable book weekly which closely matches their current phonic development. Pupils in Reception - Year 2 have reading record logs to record and track what they read, and older pupils complete more complex book reviews once they have read a book.
Every Friday night is 'Library Night' in which children and their families are invited to attend the library and share books together. School staff are on hand to offer advice about reading and developing good reading habits at home, as well as a storytime session at the end led by one of our enthusiastic teachers! Every child who attends their year group's library night will also be entered into a free raffle. At the end of the session there will be one lucky winner who can choose a high quality book from a selection to take home.
Please check the school calendar to see when your child's next Library Night is.
Each class in the school from Year 1-Year 6 is also represented by a Junior Librarian. These pupils are role models for reading in their class. Their duties include:
- Acting as a role model to promote reading in their class
- Supporting their classmates to choose a book during their weekly library visit
- Helping to keep the library tidy and well-organised
- Feeding back to school staff about what books they and their friends would like to see in the library
- Helping at weekly Library Nights after school
Donations to our library are very welcome. If you have any children's books in good condition that are no longer needed, please bring them to the school office.
‘Avid Readers’ Book Club
We have many pupils at Ark Oval who are really passionate about reading and want time to talk in depth about what they read with other like-minded peers. We wanted to create a platform for them to be able to do this, and as such, ‘Avid Readers Club’ began!
The club takes place every Thursday lunchtime in the library and is led by Miss Thomas. Pupils bring along a book they have read, and work in small groups to talk about their books and question each other. Avid readers have been learning to ask challenging questions such as “Would you want to be friends with the main character? Why/why not? Do you think the book would still be popular in 100 years?” These pupils are also learning to probe each other to explain their thoughts and opinions on books further, such as “Tell me more” and “Why do you think that?”
We have delivered a number of workshops dedicated to supporting parents with their child’s reading at home. Please click on the documents below to view them.
https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/books/free-ebooks/ Free online books for children aged 3-11
https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/storybooks-... Interactive online books and videos - well-known and well-loved titles