At All Saints, we recognise English as a core subject within the National Curriculum and a pre-requisite for educational progress in all other subjects. We teach early reading through the systematic, synthetic phonics programme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. Little Wandle draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.
If you wish to learn more about the development of Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised, please find more information on their website:
Visit the Little Wandle Website
Daily Phonics Lessons
Right from the start of Reception, children have a daily 30 minute phonics lesson which follows the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme which progresses into Year One to ensure children become fluent readers. A typical Key Stage 1 Phonics lesson will last for 30 minutes. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children to consolidate the children’s learning.
Reading Practice Sessions
Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2, read fully decodable books with an adult 3 times per week during our ‘Reading Practice’ sessions. These books are then sent home for children to build their reading fluency and showcase their developing skills and phonetic knowledge to their parents/carers. These 3 reading practice sessions each have a different focus; decoding, prosody and comprehension. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Big Cat books for our guided reading.
Reading for Pleasure
Reading for Pleasure remains a whole school priority. Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002). Children in Early Years and Key Stage one have a weekly ‘choosing book’ they take home to share with their families.
Every day the teachers read aloud the class book to the children. These texts are chosen carefully so there is a range of high quality, diverse texts to engage the children and appeal to a range of children. When reading aloud, they do not stop unnecessarily to ask clarification/comprehension questions. Instead, they allow the story to weave its own magic, only pausing occasionally where necessary to define any important vocabulary.
The combination of curriculum core texts, phonics and reading schemes fuel a love of reading that we intend to last a lifetime. From the use of Little Wandle to deliver phonics and early reading skills, the use of Accelerated Reader to motivate even the most reluctant of readers and the use of VIPERS to provide structure and depth to guided reading – we believe it is the balance and progression provided by these programmes that create successful, confident readers. We recognise the positive impact of providing regular opportunities for individual, group and whole-class reading throughout the school day. We also recognise the key role of reading in a child’s vocabulary development and ensure this is taught explicitly across the curriculum through the use of word and/or working walls. The texts children are exposed to have been carefully selected to offer interest to children with varied reading preferences. We aim to offer a balance between fiction and non-fiction texts by offering a high-quality fiction diet through English and quality non-fiction texts to enhance our wider curriculum subjects. The core texts that underpin out English teaching have both a fiction and non-fiction written outcome to ensure even coverage of these genres. Please find our Fiction core text plans below:
Core Fiction Texts taught in Year A:
Core Fiction Texts taught in Year B:
What are Reading VIPERS?
VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts. VIPERS stands for Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequence or Summarise. These 6 components focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanic e.g. decoding and fluency. VIPERS ensures that our Key Stage 2 pupils are familiar with answering with a range of questions and allow teachers to consider pupils responses carefully.
Please find examples of the different types of VIPERS questions in the handbook below:
What is Accelerated Reader?
From Year 2 onwards, the Children at All Saints are enrolled on to the Accelerated Reader programme. This is an internet-based platform that initially screens pupils according to their reading levels, and suggests books that match their reading age and reading interest. Once pupils completed a text, they sit an online quiz on what they have read. The platform provides their class teacher with in-depth data relating to both the children’s comprehension and word reading skills. This is then used to individualise support for the children moving forward.