At Whitehill Community Academy, we know that reading is a vital skill which opens many doors both in and out of school. Our aim is to promote a love of books from an early age as well as to support children to build the skills they need to be able to read fluently and confidently. We immerse children in a range of high-quality texts, matched to their reading level as well as linked to their interests and our Topics.

How is reading taught at Whitehill Community Academy?

We understand that children all develop at their own rate, and some children take a little longer than others to master a complex skill such as reading. No matter what year group a child is in, we endeavour to make sure that they are supported to make progress at their own pace through adapting teaching, providing intervention and streaming into groups. The information outlined below is our aim for all children, although some move through the journey to being a fluent and perceptive reader at a slower pace.

Word Reading

In Nursery, phase 1 phonics is introduced to develop children’s listening skills and prepare them to begin to learn that letters make ‘sounds’ and can be put together to form words. During this phase, children learn to differentiate between different types of sounds and identify their sources. They also begin to orally blend and segment sounds within words. During the Summer term, if children are deemed ‘ready’ by the Nursery Lead, they may begin set 1 phonics from the Ruth Miskin, Read Write Inc. scheme to prepare for Reception.

In Reception, children begin Ruth Miskin, Read Write Inc. Phonics. This programme teaches children what sound each letter makes, then progresses to combinations of more than one letter (digraphs and trigraphs, or ‘special friends’). Children practise reading words (decoding) as soon as they are able to by reading books linked directly to the sounds and words they have learnt.

Children are sorted into groups based on the progress they make in Phonics, and these groups continue until most children complete the programme when they are in Year 2. For some, these groups continue further up school with the aim of ensuring that they are fluent and confident readers.

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