Early reading and phonics
Evidence shows that teaching phonics is the best way to teach children to read. Therefore, at Hall Green Infant School we deliver daily, high quality phonics lessons. These lessons provide explicit, systematic phonics instruction to teach early reading skills, such as decoding, word recognition and phonological awareness.
Please visit our phonics page on the Hall Green Infants website (https://www.hallgreeninfant.co.uk/phonics-183/) to learn more about our systematic, synthetic phonics programme Monster Phonics.
Decodable Book Scheme
The national curriculum says that pupils should be taught to:
… read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words.
When children are learning to read, it is imperative that they practise independent reading with fully decodable books that are matched to their secure phonic knowledge. Therefore, at Hall Green Infants we have heavily invested in purchasing a high quality and fully-decodable book scheme called Big Cat Collins (https://collins.co.uk/pages/phonics-for-letters-and-sounds) to support children with their decoding as their knowledge of the alphabetic code increases. We supplement these decodable book titles with Dandelion Readers, Rising Stars Rocket Phonics and Monster Phonics.
Teachers carefully match books from the scheme to match each child’s current reading level to help them practice their decoding skills to ultimately develop their fluency and confidence in reading.
Parents who engage their children in books prepare them to become fluent and enthusiastic readers: they can transform their attitudes to reading. We therefore ask all parents to read with their child every night and record this in their home reading records. Pupils are given a decodable reading book so that they can put their phonic knowledge into practise. We also encourage parents to read other stories and poems with or to their child.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss.
We recognise the importance of reading and therefore reading takes place every day through quality reading lessons such as:
Reading is taught through dedicated, accurately planned sessions during which children are taught the skills to become confident, independent and motivated readers. In these sessions, we teach fundamental skills such as decoding, language comprehension, fluency, prosody so that children are able to retrieve and infer text.
Our well-designed book corners are used as a sanctuary for independent reading and a place for children to practice their reading and develop their love of books. Independent reading opportunities allow for our teachers to listen to their pupils read so that they can assess their reading ability and provide feedback to make improvements.
Our Reception pupils have ‘Big Talk’ sessions, which support their acquisition of new vocabulary and language comprehension. In these sessions, children are encouraged to retrieve basic information and make simple inferences from pictures and/or props.
In Year One, children receive ‘Cracking Comprehension’ lessons (Rising Stars). These whole class (adult led) lessons gradually help children to develop the techniques to answer the types of questions asked in the Key Stage 1 national test for reading at the end of Year 2. At the start, texts are read aloud to the children so that they can engage with, and understand the texts to answer questions.
As children become fluent readers they begin ‘formal’ comprehension lessons. These lessons focus on retrieval questions and vocabulary exploration and build up to inference and prediction skills. At Hall Green Infants we use a range of texts and genres to support children’s background knowledge to support reading comprehension.
Developing a love of reading
At Hall Green Infants, we strive to build a culture of reading for enjoyment that will develop a lifelong love of reading and future academic success. See below some of the reading pleasure opportunities we provide our children: