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 to watch a video on how to pronounce the sounds: https://youtu.be/TkXcabDUg7Q
Online phonics lessons
Click on this link to watch phonics lessons on our YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLk1TAPJ2DJXxxpIirHqgnQ3ZOMxBMtm0M
Phonics Screening Check 2022.ppt
Phonics terminology explained.docx
Reception Parents Workshop Oct 2022.pptx
RWI guidance for YR parents updated.docx
What the phonics reading book colours mean.docx
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.
Ark Oval Reading Provision 2022.docx
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 from their starting points. 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 which changes each half term. Pupils in Reception focus on 1 core book per week, and Y1 pupils study 2 books in a half term.
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
- Practising new 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 posed 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 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
- Notice the effect that authors have on them as a reader
This year, we are excited to introduce our new 'Book Nooks' in each year group's corridor, to show what core book pupils from each year group are studying in the current half term. The Book Nooks will also have books by the same author of the core book, to encourage pupils to read other books by the same author. In addition, pupils will have access to lots of books which complement and enrich the wider curriculum subjects e.g. Geography, History, Art etc. New books will be added every half term to enthuse and interest pupils, but also give them the opportunity to revisit books from previous half terms. The Book Nooks have already created lots of interest; pupils have even suggested different ways we could use them!
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!
Banded books and bookbags
All pupils have a clear plastic bookbag to keep all of their reading materials in:
- Library Book
- Banded book
All pupils on the phonics programme take home a decodable book weekly which matches their current phonics level.
Pupils who have completed the Read Write Inc phonics programme will take home a banded book weekly, which matches their current reading age. The book band colours and corresponding reading ages can be found here: Collins Big Cat Book Bands.pdf
The above books should be read by your child daily, to build reading confidence and fluency. Repeated reading is encouraged too!
-'Read the Rainbow' bookmark
Pupils are encouraged to record their reading on their 'Read the Rainbow' bookmark. Once they read 20 times, they receive a 'Superstar Reader' sticker and move on to the next colour bookmark. Completed bookmarks are displayed and celebrated within our classrooms.
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.
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.
Reading and phonics workshop for parents Jan 2023.pptx
Recommended books for story time YR-Y2.docx
Early Reading Workshop January 2020.pptx
Building Fluency with your child.docx
Building Comprehension Skills with your child.docx
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVraNWFZ0XO_BsszfyqNYXQ - Our YouTube channel, which features lots of books read aloud by our teachers!
https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ - Log in using your child's login and password for access to assigned decodable RWI phonics books (for pupils on our phonics programme) and 500+ free ebooks for pupils who have mastered phonics. Please speak to your child's teacher if you do not have a login.
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
https://www.croydon.gov.uk/libraries-leisure-and-culture/libraries - Find your nearest Croydon library and become a member for free