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Langold Dyscarr Community School

“A Chance to Shine' and 'Dare to Bee Different”

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Early Reading 


At Langold Dyscarr Community school we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of key stage one and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete systematic phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a 'Reading for Pleasure 'culture. Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early schooling and has far reaching implications for life long learning and well being



The independent  review of early reading conducted by Jim Rose confirmed that 'high quality phonic work' should be the prime means for teaching children how to read and spell words. The review also highlighted the importance of developing from the earliest stages children's speaking and listening skills, ensuring that beginner readers are ready to get off to a good start in phonic work. Such work should be set within a broad and rich language curriculum. It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners. This approach is in alignment with our belief that we first 'learn to read' and then 'read to learn' and is reflected in our Early Reading Policy.




Phonics (reading and spelling).

At langold Dyscarr Community school we believe that all of our children can become readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Foundation and follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression., which ensures that children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.


As a result, all our children are able tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Langold Dyscarr Community School we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.



At Langold Dyscarr Community School we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.


Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.




Foundations for Phonics in Foundation 1

We believe the importance of getting children off to a good start with reading cannot be overstated. The teaching of Early Reading starts from Foundation 1

  • We provide a balance of Child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for 'Communication, Language and Literacy.' These include
  • Sharing high quality stories and poems
  • Learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
  • activities that develop focussed listening and attention, including oral blending
  • attention to high quality language
  • We ensure Foundation 1 children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPC) and blending in Foundation 2.


We understand that key features of a rich curriculum which are essential to Phase One and beyond are the range and depth of language experienced by the children. We exploit the power of story, rhyme, drama and song to fire children's imagination and interest, thus encouraging them to use language copiously.


Daily Phonics sessions in Foundation 2 and Year 1

  • We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Foundation 2 we build from 10 minutes daily, with additional daily oral blending games to the full length lessons as quickly as possible. Each Friday we review the weeks teaching to help children become fluent readers.
  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress;
  • Children in Foundation 2 are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPC's, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPC's with fluency and accuracy


Daily keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read.

  • Any child who needs additional practice has daily keep up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep up lessons match the structure of class teaching and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
  • We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or who has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the keep-up resources, at pace.
  • If any child in Years 4 - 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics catch-up lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place until the gap is filled.


Teaching Reading

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions. These

  • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children.
  • use books matched to the children's secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised  assessments and book matching grids.
  • are monitored by the class teacher.

Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children's working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading  skills

  1. decoding
  2. prosody -  teaching children to read with  expression
  3. comprehension - teaching children to understand the text.

In Years 2 and 3 we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.


Home Reading.

Decodable books are taken home to ensure that the child's reading success is shared with the family.

Reading for pleasure books also go home for parent to share and read to children.

We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Parents Resources to engage our families and share information about phonics , the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision both online and through workshops.


Ensuring  consistency and pace of progress

  • Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading so we have the same expectations of progress, We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower  children's cognitive load.
  • Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.
  • Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos  ensure all teachers have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.
  • The Reading Leader and SLT use the audit and prompt cards to regularly monitor and observe teaching They use the summative data to ensure identified children are in receipt of additional support


Ensuring Reading for Pleasure

'Reading for Pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child's success' (OECD 2002)


We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our reading for pleasure pedagogy.

  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully  as we want children to experience a wide range of books.
  • Every classroom has an inviting book area that encourages a love for reading..
  • In Foundation children have access to the reading area daily in their continuous provision and the books are continually enhanced.
  • All children have a Home reading record. Both adults in school and  parent/carer record comments on a regular basis  to ensure communication is maintained between home and school.
  • As the children progress through the school they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
  • Visits to the local library are also scheduled throughout the terms..
  • Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events. (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc)





Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

Assessment for Learning is used

  • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
  • weekly in the review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPC's  words and spellings.

Summative assessment is used

  • every six weeks to assess progress to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
  • by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Assessment Tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.


Statutory Assessment

Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing re-sits the check in Year 2.