English at Daresbury
Reading and Phonics
We firmly believe that reading opens up new worlds; opening up the door to endless possibilities. Reading is always a high priority at Daresbury and we continually review and reflect on our reading provision as we seek to ensure that all children develop confidence and fluency as well as a love of reading as they progress through the school.
From January 2023, children in Reception now learn phonics through our SSP of Read Write Inc (RWI). Children receive a daily session of phonics as well as further opportunities both in school and at home to consolidate their learning.
As part of our ongoing reviews we have introduced a new approach to guided reading; moving to a whole class, mastery approach based on Ashley Booth's reading curriculum. This enables children to experience a range of extracts from different topics not only developing their reading comprehension but also their wider knowledge and understanding across the curriculum. This also works alongside our links with our class texts used for Talk 4 Writing enabling us to provide a rich reading diet for our children.
Across the school all children are encouraged to read regularly and they all are given an appropriate individual reading book for their ability. We ask that they read at least three times a week, but we encourage that they read every night. All children have a reading diary to record reading at school and at home. We have a variety of books to not only interest the children, but to ensure they access a variety too; from picture books, fiction, non-fiction, classics and modern day classics too. We aim for every child by the end of Year 2 to be fluent readers. In Reception and Year 1 there is a focus to hear children read regularly and ensure they read fluently and if they are not, support is implemented. Once children are fluent we focus more on understanding the text. The children are listened to read in class at least once a week and each half term (or sooner if a teacher decides) they will be assessed using the Pearson Progress and Assess tests; this informs the book bands the children read.
Alongside developing the skills of reading we also want to develop a love of reading in our children. All classrooms have class reading areas with subject specific books and other age-appropriate reading for pleasure books. All children have access to themed mental well-being books. Additionally all classes have a class novel or shorter story which is read to them throughout the week by their class teacher. We aim to develop the children's love of literature and interest them in a wide range of novels, authors and styles. All children have access to Reading Bugs which is a web-based, ability appropriate, reading scheme which they can access at home and school. Links can be made between Reading Bugs and Wordsmith. In EYFS and Year 1 the children share daily stories using our favourite five initiative, books are chosen for example rhyme, and a book is read weekly for half a term.
At Daresbury all children learn to write through Talk for Writing. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett. It is a fun, creative programme and has a rigorous approach to develop writers. Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing. During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Finally, at the 'invention' stage, children write their own text independently.
The new National Curriculum very clearly outlines the continuity and progression of spelling for Key Stages 1 & 2. From January we have started to use Read Write Inc Spelling from Year 2 to Year 6 as our consistent approach. Children, from Year 2 to Year 6, will have a 15 minute daily spelling session aimed at their next steps in spelling.