Our Intent for Reading at Abbot Alphege Academy
At Abbot Alphege Academy, we recognise that the ability to read has a significant impact on pupil outcomes later in life. We are fully committed to ensuring that every pupil at Abbot Alphege Academy, regardless of background, ability or additional needs is supported in becoming a reader by the time they during their time with us.
Throughout Reception and Year 1, we teach the Little Wandle programme of phonics which is an approved, comprehensive phonics programme. Pupils will have a daily phonics session which introduces new phonemes and graphemes, promoting the development of a strong grapheme-phoneme correspondence. During phonics sessions, pupils will have the opportunity to use their blending skills to read words containing new graphemes, learn ‘tricky-words’ – those that are not decodable using phonics while expanding their orthographic memory with the objective to achieve automaticity in word recall.
Alongside daily phonics sessions, pupils in Reception and Year 1 participate in a thrice weekly, group reading session lead by a teacher or trained teaching assistant. These sessions focus on the same book as pupils deepen their understanding of new vocabulary, prosody (expression and intonation) and comprehension. During the session pupils will read aloud at their own pace and the teacher will ‘tap-in’ to listen to them individually.
As pupils move into Year 2 and complete the phonics programme as emerging readers, reading skills are taught through a skills-based approach using VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise) within regular reading skills sessions, and this continues throughout Key Stage Two. These lessons are text based and provide an opportunity for pupils to read alongside an ‘expert-reader’, read chorally, in a pair and independently as they discuss and analyse a text.
We encourage reading for pleasure through presenting pupils with a selection of challenging, enriching and provoking texts both within lessons and as a class book read purely for pleasure. All pupils will have daily opportunities to read a variety of materials in school, including reading regularly with an adult. We are fortunate enough to have a well-stocked library with a variety of up-to date, engaging and challenging books that are regularly monitored by our experienced librarian. All classes have a weekly designated library slot and all pupils are able to select a book to borrow to share for pleasure at home.
By the end of Yr6 pupils at Abbot Alphege Academy will;
- Enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and enjoy reading a variety of genres and text types.
- Have the skills to decode words in order to read fluently with a secure understanding of what they have read.
- Be inspired by literature and be motivated to read for pleasure
The document below tells you all about our approach to reading and includes a Progression of Reading Skills to explain your child’s reading journey from Reception to Year 6.
As explained in the Reading Information Document, we use VIPERS to support the teaching of reading comprehension. More information about VIPERS can be found here:
Our Intent for Writing at Abbot Alphege Academy
At Abbot Alphege Academy, it is our intent to provide high-quality teaching in English skills in order to enable pupils to become articulate, imaginative and effective communicators who have a love of reading, writing and language. To support pupils in developing their love of language and the written word, we use a text-based approach where our English lessons are based upon and inspired by a high-quality text. When planning pupil progression in writing we take a ‘writing for purposes’ approach enabling pupils to categorise similar texts and transfer skills effectively between text types. Where ever possible, we make links across the curriculum to ensure learning in English is relevant and meaningful, making links to our topics in History, Geography, RE and Science. We intend to ensure that pupils; are equipped to write for specific purposes, develop the ability to organise, plan and edit their written work, view themselves as a writer and view writing as an enjoyable process.
We follow the expectations set out in the national curriculum and ensure that grammar and punctuation skills are woven into lessons, although certain skills may be taught discreetly. Pupils will have opportunities to watch an ‘expert writer’ model the writing process and participate in shared writing where the writing process is carefully scaffolded. Pupils will also have the opportunity to write independently for both short bursts, focused on rehearsing a specific skill, and writing an extended text applying all the skills they have been taught in that unit.
The document below shows the progression in writing skills across the school, and what your child will be learning in each year group as they move through our school:
We recognise the contribution that a legible, cursive handwriting style has on a pupils’ fluency of writing and supports the development of their own positive perception and pride in their writing. Throughout Reception and into Key Stage One, pupils are rigorously taught correct letter formations, alongside the correct posture and handwriting grip required. Throughout Key Stage One and into Key Stage Two, pupils follow the ‘Letter-Join’ handwriting programme which is a systematic, progressive approach which supports pupils at all levels. Handwriting is taught discreetly in twice weekly sessions throughout Key Stage One and into Lower Key Stage Two, until pupils demonstrate confidence with all the letter joins and are beginning to develop their individual handwriting style. Teacher’s role model the agreed handwriting style when writing on the board, on displays or marking children’s work. We intend to ensure that pupils; apply correct posture and pen grip, accurately form individual letters and the associated joins and that pupils are supported to develop their own individual handwriting style.
At Abbot Alphege Academy, we follow the Spelling Shed programme of spellings. Pupils are regularly taught spelling patterns in class and each week have a focus set of words which are practised in class. Spellings are also sent home and pupils are tested on these spellings in their weekly spellings test.
Learning to recognise and read high-frequency words on sight is crucial in developing fluency and accuracy in reading and writing and this is a focus for our pupils in Key Stage 1. High frequency words are those that appear most often in printed materials. Some high frequency words are referred to as ‘tricky words’, as pupils are unable to apply their phonic knowledge to decode every part of the word. Once pupils are confident in reading and writing the high-frequency words, pupils are then taught spelling rules and supported in applying these in their writing. We intend to ensure that pupils; have a secure knowledge of spelling patterns as they move away from phonics, be confident in applying spelling patterns in their written work.
In order to become great readers and writers, all of our children need an excellent grounding in phonics, from the moment they start school.
We use the Little Wandle : Letters and Sounds Revised Scheme for our phonics teaching in school, adhering to the progression and expectations within the scheme.
All children in Reception and Year 1 (and into Year 2 if they need additional support) have daily phonics lessons and will bring home reading books that enable them to practise the sounds they are learning in school.
For more information about Little Wandle, including the progression the children are expected to make in their phonics journey, click on the link below. There is also lots of information on how you can support your child with their phonics learning at home, as well as useful videos:
Please see the documents below for some more information about our phonics: