English

Reading at St. Stephen's

At St. Stephen’s it is our goal to ensure all children learn to become fluent readers as quickly as possible. This is achieved through a combination of phonics, high frequency word recognition, group reading and whole-class guided reading sessions.

As of Spring 2022, we are transitioning from using Letters and Sounds to using Little Wandle. Phonics is introduced in our Nursery with the goal of ensuring that our Rising Receptions enter our Reception class having achieved Phase 2.

Little Wandle continues in Reception. Children are assessed on entry to our Reception class and the class is split into different groups based on their phonological understanding. We use Oxford Reading Tree books that have been aligned with the Little Wandle scheme as home readers for Reception children. Alongside their home reading books, children are also given high frequency words to learn by sight. By the end of Reception, we target all children to have a secure understanding of Phase 4.

Little Wandle continues in Year 1 with children grouped based on their phonological awareness. Sessions are taught daily. In Year 1 we also introduce the ‘Reading Swamp’ where children are benchmarked using PM Benchmarking and assigned to small, adult-led reading groups. The Reading Swamp consists of a revision of phonemes, high-frequency word recognition and reading. The Reading Swamp happens daily. We use Oxford Reading Tree Project X books for the Reading Swamp and have aligned them with the Little Wandle phases. In Year 1, children continue to move through our Oxford Reading Tree home-readers based on their benchmarked level. By the end of Year 1, we want all children to have a secure understanding of Phase 5 and to have developed reading fluency.

When children have progressed through all levels of the Oxford Reading Tree, they become ‘fluent readers’ and move to Whole-Class Reading sessions. These sessions are based on the National Curriculum Objectives for Reading. In these sessions, teachers may choose to use short texts from Rising Stars Cracking Comprehension for children to work on or longer novels.

Throughout their time at St. Stephen’s, children are encouraged to develop a love of reading. This is achieved through our ‘Book-based’ term of Linked Learning, weekly trips to our state-of-the-art Learning Hub where children can borrow books, our engaging Reading Corners where children are free to choose a book for pleasure whenever they like and daily reading of a class novel by the class teacher.

Our Reading and Writing Milestones: