At Sunnyside Spencer Academy we value the role that reading plays in a child's education and, indeed, as a key life skill that will prepare them up for future endeavours. We believe that reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. We teach children to decode texts effortlessly, so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.

We assess all pupils from FS2 on the Read Write Inc. Sound and Word Entry Assessment and we use this data to assign them to either Read Write Inc. Phonics or a Literacy and Language SPAG Focus Groups. This gives us a very good indication of how well they are making progress relative to their starting points. We do this for all pupils, whenever they join us, so we can track all of them effectively, including those eligible for the pupil premium. If a child arrives in Key Stage 2 reading below their chronological age or with English as an additional language they are taught Read Write Inc. Phonics until they too catch up with their peers. The Read Write Inc. programmes are based on the premise that children learn most effectively when excellent modelling, followed by partner discussion and teaching, is deeply embedded into every lesson.

We teach pupils to:

  • decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • read 'tricky' words on sight
  • understand what they read
  • read aloud with fluency and expression
  • write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
  • spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  • acquire good handwriting.

In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils' poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge. We make sure that all pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the 'tricky words'. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher and family at home, supports their increasingly fluent decoding. Alongside this, staff read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils. Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 also have additional opportunities to develop their communication, language and Literacy skills on a daily basis in both adult led and child initiated activities.

A range of reading schemes are used to support all readers as well as book banded 'real books' used for guided reading. Guided reading sessions, help to further develop the children's comprehension and independence skills through the reciprocal reading approach. Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention programmes and differentiated class teaching.

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