Phonics (reading and spelling)
At Caythorpe Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Caythorpe Primary School we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
At Caythorpe Primary School, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
- Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
- We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week
- We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:
- are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
- use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’
- are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
- Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
- prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
- In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
- In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
- The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
- We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
- Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.
Ensuring reading for pleasure
‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.
- We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Caythorpe Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
- In Nursery/Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
- Children from Nursery/Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
- As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
Literacy is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to develop a child's ability read and write. We strongly believe in the importance of developing children's vocabulary through language, talk and day-to-day experiences, to enable children to put their feelings into words and share experiences. Children show this in range of ways including understanding simple sentences, familiarity with phonics, demonstrating understanding of what they have read, the ability to write spoken sounds and words and even simple sentences.
Helping a young child write - helpful tips for writing with young children
We believe every child can do maths. At Caythorpe we follow the White Rose scheme of work. The scheme follows a journey to mastery approach. It would take several years to master addition, so what we do is break the journey down into small steps, spending time carefully considering each. Through intelligent practice and building up experience of different contexts, gradually we move towards mastery where pupils are fluent in the unfamiliar and can apply their skills in any new situation.
What to do if your child says "I hate Maths!" A helpful video
We use Class Dojo to connect with parents and share photos and videos of all of the wonderful things that take place in school. Any parent can connect with their child’s class story and view their child’s reward points. Parents receive an invite to their email address or we can print you a connection code. You can download the Apple App or Android App on your phone or tablet or visit the website.
Please see below five factsheets for parents and practitioners with the aim of providing information by using trauma awareness about children's and adult's emotional behaviour: You may access the full Rockpool website via the link.
Please can your child keep a named PE kit in school all week (dark shorts and/or jogging bottoms, a white T-shirt and trainers or plimsols.) If the weather is fine, PE may take place outdoors so please make sure your child has an outdoor kit. Please can you also ensure that all items of school clothing are named to prevent any mix-ups at the end of the day.
All Reception children have their own Tapestry account which we use to record their daily learning. Please check the account regularly to find out what your children have been up to in school!
One of the most important ways to keep mentally healthy is to have routine and structure, and to maintain a healthy sleep pattern. The Education Endowment Foundation (EFF) have produced a series of checklists to help parents and children manage their routines.
- One way of acknowledging your child’s distress is to be open about the fears and anxieties that are around. Giving them information about what is happening and helping then feel safe is the most important thing you can do.
- This is a link for older children on Flight/Fight and feeling anxious
- This is a link for older children on Flight/Fight and feeling anxious.
- This is a link for younger children.
- This is a link takes you to a really nice video that the whole family can watch – you can even make the ‘Glitter jars’ if you have the right stuff.
It is of the utmost importance that we make the Internet a safe place for children. We teach our pupils, not only about the wonders of the online world, but also the dangers associated with it and what they can do to be safe when they are online. Here are some top tips, advice and guidance to help keep your child safe online.
Alphablocks - Alphablocks from the BBC is aimed at four-to-six-year-olds who are learning to read. It is a fun way to learn your letters, both sounds and names. Each letter has been made into a little character.
CBeebies Stories - Animated stories and nursery rhymes from the BBC including traditional tales such as The Ugly Duckling.
Numberblocks - Also from the BBC. Sing along and learn all about numbers with the Numberblocks!