Mendlesham Primary School
Reading and Phonics
We aim to inspire children to love reading and become life-long readers.
We begin in the Foundation Stage with picture books and learning letter sounds (using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme, ‘Fast Phonics First’ and ‘Bug Club Phonics’), and continue throughout a child’s time with us, to provide stimulating and creative opportunities for reading.
All children have a session of phonics (the systematic learning of letter sounds) each day, using the actions from Jolly Phonics and progressing through Letters and Sounds Phonics in Reception and Key Stage 1. By KS2 Phonics is replaced by Spelling for almost all children.
Reading in year 1 is taught using the Daily Supported Reading programme. These daily sessions of 30 minutes focus on learning behaviours and promoting the enjoyment and understanding of texts. Key stage 1 pupils move on to Destination Reader as their reading skills develop.
Across Y3 – 6 at Mendlesham Primary School, we teach daily 45 minute reading lessons that follow a new reading approach called ‘Destination Reader.’ Destination Reader is an approach to teaching reading which can be applied to all texts. Its main focus is on:
- Key reading strategies which support comprehension.
- Learning behaviours which support pupil talk.
We explore and unpick extracts of text together using our focus reading strategy. Then, pupils practice the same strategy in partners with a different piece of text. Our children do lots of reading and talking through their ideas about books with their reading partners. On Fridays, we answer questions about a text, using our reading strategies to help us. The 7 key reading strategies that we teach are as follows:
Predicting Summarising Clarifying Making links Evaluating Inferring Questioning
The learning behaviours enable pupils to engage with a text in pairs or groups and use the strategies to help them unpick and understand the text in a meaningful way. Furthermore, at Mendlesham Primary School, we are always striving to promote reading for pleasure. Books are there for us to enjoy and we want our pupils to develop their own reading preferences and a general love of reading. Overall, our aim is to develop our students in to able readers who have the skills they need to read independently by the time they leave us and who read books because they love to. If we can achieve that, we know we’ll have made a holistic difference to their life-long learning.
Years 1 and 2 also follow a daily reading program where they are supported using similar strategies and a focus on learning behaviours which promote the improvement of reading skills including fluency and comprehension. Children read age appropriate texts across the genres and are encouraged to work collaboratively, to question and voice their opinion of the texts they read.
All children are encouraged to use our school Library and borrow a book to read themselves or share at home with their family.