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Plaistow Primary School

Reading and Phonics

At Plaistow Primary School, reading begins with encouraging a love of books. We have therefore chosen to place beautiful high quality texts at the heart of our curriculum. 

At Plaistow Primary, we aim to develop a love and appreciation of reading which will stay with our children for life. We use high-quality reading materials within our lessons, and provide a breadth and range of texts across the school. We want our children to engage with the texts they read, opening doors to other worlds yet connecting with their own lives and experiences. 

Reading at Plaistow Primary is taught using a balanced and engaging approach, which integrates both decoding and comprehension skills. We ensure that specific teaching and modelling of strategies for developing children’s reading comprehension are introduced at the very beginning of their reading journey. Reading lessons at Plaistow Primary encourage and develop the skills needed for our children to discover books for themselves. 

Talk is woven through all of our lessons so that our children are active learners and have the opportunity to fully internalise what they are learning whilst deepening understanding.   

Progression in Reading - Plaistow Primary School

Teaching of Reading at Plaistow Primary

We explore a text as a whole class class and through modelling, thinking aloud, discussion and questioning we delve deeper, using our reading strategies to help us. We encourage children to practise their reading skills and use strategies to help further understanding and enhance enjoyment reading.

We use flexible, mixed-attainment grouping structures to help meet the needs of each child. This allows children to work with a variety of peers depending on the planned learning outcome. A range of whole-class, small group, partner or individual learning opportunities are planned so that teachers can work with our children in a variety of ways to support their reading and understanding. 

Our Reading Strategies

We teach reading skills through the use of our Plaistow Reading Crew: Super Decoder, Rex the Retriever, Inspector Inference and Aisha the Author.  All of our reading strategies fit within these characters and are taught explicitly to our children.

We are proud of our Reading Crew. Our children collaborated to develop their design. The Reading Crew was designed FOR our school BY our children!

Reading for Pleasure 

We expect children to read at home everyday. We ask children to log their reading in their reading records. Each classroom has an inviting reading area where children can select books they would like to read and take home to share with their family. 

Children in Key Stage 1 and EYFS also take home a phonically decodable book which is matched to their phonics level which will support them with their reading journey. 

Early Reading and Phonics

Phonics is taught at Plaistow Primary School following the RWI - Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. 

This is an inclusive phonics and literacy programme for all children learning to read and teaches them how to use synthetic phonics. Synthetic phonics is a way of teaching reading. Children will be taught two crucial concepts when they are learning to read using synthetic phonics:

  1. How sounds are represented by written letters. For example, they will be taught that the letter ‘m’ represents an 'mmm' sound.
  2. How sounds can be blended together to make words. For example, they will be taught that the sounds of the letters ‘c-a-t’ blend together to make the word ‘cat’. 

Children will be taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound (or sounds) they represent. For example, they will be taught that the letter ‘l’ sounds like 'lllll' when we say it. Children will then start reading by blending the sounds together to make words. Another word for this kind of blending is synthesising.

At school, teachers and pupils talk about blending, but in phonics lessons also use phrases like 'sounding out' or 'Fred Talk'. All these terms refer to the same idea: synthesising sounds. To find out more about phonics and the RWI programme click here.

Phonics sessions are taught daily at Plaistow Primary School for pupils in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 in addition to whole class shared reading and English lessons to develop each individual pupils’ reading skills, understanding and knowledge.

Our phonics teaching aims to teach children to:

  • apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words
  • segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words
  • learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes 
  • read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns 
  • read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible 
  • decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read 
  • spell effortlessly so that all their resources can be directed towards composing their writing 
  • comprehend the meaning of words and text
  • use the skills they have learnt in their phonics teaching and apply them to their own reading and writing.

Plaistow Phonics Policy

Click here for ways to support your child in their reading at home.