At Lydgate Infant School reading is at the heart of our curriculum. It is our intention that every child will be a reader. From the start of their journey with us children are supported to enjoy books and develop a lifelong love of reading. They are exposed to high quality texts and through a consistent and structured approach to the teaching of phonics, they are provided with the skills they need to decode confidently. We are proud of our teaching practice in phonics and we use the teaching structure and sequence described in Letters and Sounds. Reading books are closely matched to the graphemes taught. These 'decodable' books are also sent home for children to practise until fluent.
The importance of communication & language, high quality talk and a language rich environment
Our aim is to equip pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment and information. The texts we select are carefully considered and we work alongside experts to ensure they are authentic, diverse and interesting to the children. In line with the national curriculum we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
To find out how English is planned & sequenced in order that our children can progress through the building blocks for learning, please find the following documents:
Laying the Foundations for Reading
Synthetic phonics (starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex) has been proven to be the most effective approach to developing early reading proficiency and at Lydgate Infant School we believe this is the best way to introduce children to the joy of reading.
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. They are taught how to
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’;
- blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word and
- Sight read “tricky words” (non decodable words) such as the, said, to
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Understanding phonics also helps children know which letters to use when they are writing words.
At Lydgate Infant School we teach phonics using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
You can access the Little Wandle website here. The parents section on this website has many useful videos including; how we teach phonics, progression of sounds, how to say the sounds and an explanation of the books that your child will bring home.
Children are taught in whole class groups and supported to access the age appropriate teaching content. The pace of the programme is maintained, with four new GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences) and a selection of 'Tricky words' introduced each week. Any children who are not yet fluent readers will receive additional phonics teaching and 'Keep up' support regularly.
Each phonics lesson follows the following structure:
Review and revisit
Practise recognition and recall of previously taught graphemes
Practise oral blending and segmenting
Teach a new grapheme
Teach blending and segmenting with new grapheme
Teach tricky words
Practise reading and spelling using taught graphemes
Read and write a sentence using decodable and already taught “tricky words”
Every classroom has a high quality reading area with a selection of carefully selected books including old favourite stories and new, award winning texts.
Pupils at Lydgate Infant School also have a practice reading sessions each week which aim to build fluency, prosody and early comprehension skills. Some pupils also have further time built into the week to read 1-1 to an adult.
Parents are partners in their child’s educational journey and are invited to workshops. These documents are used to support parents in gaining knowledge and understanding of how phonics is taught so that they have the skills to support phonics and early reading and writing at home. The following information is designed to give more information about how we teach phonics at LIS
Link to website or document
Glossary of phonics terms
This document shows the order we teach each GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences), when we will teach them and explains the structure of phonics lessons
We teach how to say and write each grapheme using a "pronunciation phrase" and “formation phrase” to encourage the correct formation and use catchphrases for digraphs and trigraphs to support memorising them.
This video shows you how to pronounce the phonemes (sounds). Notice how the children don’t add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so they say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’.
We teach oral blending alongside teaching pure sounds. Oral blending is when the child can listen to the pure sounds in a word and blend them together to say the word, for example m-a-t mat. When a child becomes more skilled, they can blend the sounds in their head and say the word out loud. This video explains how we teach blending.
Our Early Literacy Skills Booklet is a guide to how to support your child at home
Your child will receive two books every week. Click here for an explanation of why
Fostering a Love of Reading
Developing a love of reading is vital. We have a high quality library which is well stocked with both fiction and non- fiction texts. All classes are provided with weekly time to explore the library.
We read to children every day and place a great deal of importance on story time. High quality texts are selected by the school in liaison with specialists beyond school. These create a set of core books per year group that engage children and elicit a strong response such as laughter, empathy or curiosity. They extend children’s vocabulary, include fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They reflect the children at Lydgate Infant School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures. These books are re-read to children over and over at story time so that they become familiar with the new vocabulary introduced in the books and a depth of understanding and comprehension of these books is further developed with every read.
Children are actively involved in discussing books and selecting which book with be part of the whole class read at story time each day.
Our core books are then available in class for children to access independently in each classroom’s inviting book corner which encourages a love for reading.
Click below to look at our termly reading newsletters including personal messages from award winning authors that have worked with us here at Lydgate Infants, book recommendations (for both children and adults), book reviews written by the children and much more!
Please click here to read our Autumn 2021 Reading Newsletter
Please click here to read our Spring 2022 Reading Newsletter.
Please click here to read our Summer 2022 Reading Newsletter.
Please click here to read our Autumn 2022 Reading Newsletter.
Supporting Your Child
Helping your child to develop a love of reading is very important to us. Here is some information that you may find useful to support your child at home.
- Book chat– develop a love of reading
- A guide to Book Chat
- Book chat: Watch Ben Harris read a story using the book chat techniques
- Supporting readers at home poster
- Reading treasure hunt
- Top Ten Story Times to enjoy – read aloud by the authors and celebrities
- Reading aloud to children – 7 steps to making it magical
- Why re-reading matters
- Everybody Read