Reading and Phonics
Mrs Rose Callaway
At Wainscott School, we have a variety of reading schemes working alongside each other which are colour banded. Many schools band books by colour to help children choose the right books for their reading ability. For example, the simplest books are Band 1, which is pink progressing to the top level of Black in which children are reading ready for Secondary School.
These are carefully graded by reading levels known as book bands. This means that when you know your child’s book band, you will be able to select books from different reading schemes with confidence, knowing that they are the right level for your child. Each book band has its own colour. Book banding is a method of grading the reading level of a particular book- see below how book bands correlate with both year group and reading age. This allows children to be guided to appropriate reading material. Not only is it a good way to organise the levels of books in schools, it can also help staff to audit numbers, types of books and the spread of various levels across the school.
Reading schemes, group readers, guided readers, picture books (where appropriate) and general fiction can be banded as can some general non-fiction. Books can be graded from the simplest texts, suitable for very early readers, to texts for fluent readers, ensuring that children experience success and progress from one level to the next. Wainscott use a combination of All Aboard, Oxford Reading Tree and Project X to name but a few.
All pupils also have access to the Oxford Owl E library https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ which means that should bubbles be closed, the children are still able to access a wide variety of reading books. This scheme was introduced in December 2020. More details can be found in this location: Home Learning | Wainscott Primary School
Reciprocal Reading was introduced across the school in September 2017
Wainscott School use Connectors which is a ground-breaking reciprocal reading series for peer-to-peer learning.
This has helped to:
Narrow the attainment gap, named as a key priority by the Department for Education
- Helps to make guided reading time as effective as possible
- Improves literacy, leadership skills and metacognition
- Sparks curiosity and debate
- Improves motivation and behaviour
- Includes every learner
Children work in small independent groups of up to six, each taking turns to be the leader as they read and debate a book together. Clear prompts show the leader how to focus the discussion and work with their team to predict outcomes, clarify issues, ask questions and evaluate content. This collaborative approach, recommended by the Education Endowment Foundation, develops teamwork as well as speaking, listening, comprehension and evaluation skills. The series contains over 130 non-fiction and fiction titles across 8 book bands and 3 age groups, covering topical issues that inspire curiosity and debate.
Phonics teaching takes place daily and follows the Letters And Sounds scheme, children are asked, within a session to revisit, review, practice and then apply their phonic skill. Letters and Sounds is supplemented by a range of teacher made resources and flashcards purchased from educational suppliers. Staff also have access to Education City and Phonics Play to help them in delivering the daily phonics session.
Floppy phonic readers have been recently introduced in FS2 to supplement Letters and Sounds and to provide further opportunities for children to apply their phonic knowledge.
We are extremely proud of the reading outcomes at Wainscott School- figures being above both National and Medway and on a three year upward trend standing at 81% of children at Age expected and 35% working at Greater Depth in July 2018.