Phonically Decodable Books
From Foundation Stage 1, library books are sent home with children. Their focus is language acquisition and listening to stories being read to them. As children begin Read, Write, Inc, children are sent home with sound cards to practise their sounds. When they are secure with their understanding of sounds, children will be given virtual links for games to practise their oral blending. Following this, children will be sent home with sound blending books. When children move into the Ditty group, they will take a perfectly matched phonically decodable book home with them. This continues, until children have moved securely off the programme. As well as a phonically, decodable book, children will take a library book home with them. This is to encourage parents to read to their children and develop their vocabulary. Books are changed weekly, so children have time to practise their phonics sounds, as well as building their fluency. If children struggle with their fluency, there are extra fluency links that can be sent home to support children, as well as classroom interventions.
Staff are Early Reading Experts
All staff at Rossington St Michael’s, from nursery to KS2, have been trained in RWI phonics. The Reading Leader attends half termly training sessions to ensure that she is aware of any updates. This is then relayed back to staff in school. All staff have access to the virtual classroom, where they have a large range of training videos for each aspect of phonics. The Reading Leader directs staff to training videos and staff are given time to watch them. In addition to this, the Reading Leader holds training sessions monthly for reading staff. Staff at Rossington St Michael’s partake in a RWI Development Day, where a RWI expert visits the lessons and offers bespoke training.
Involving families is an important part of our reading culture. Results of international reading studies have shown that children who are supported in their reading at home are more likely to enjoy reading and tend to achieve more highly at school. We want our children to read at home through choice. For this to happen, we engage with families to extend the culture of reading that the school has developed. Strategies include:
- Parents, grandparents and adult volunteers from the local community often come in to school and listen to children read.
- We offer advice and printable materials on our school website, along with input from individual class teachers on dojo and parent evenings. We hand out ‘Viper’ bookmarks to parents, which give them a variety of questions from each content domain that they can ask their child.
- Our school target is for children to read at least three times a week. If this is done, children receive dojo points.
- Parents and teachers communicate regularly in reading diaries. These reading diaries have been especially designed for our school and provide ways in which parents can support reading.
- All pupils regularly take home a RWI phonics book that is matched to their ability and a book for pleasure. When children move off the RWI programme, they are assessed using the benchmarking kit on a colour banded system.