Early Reading and Phonics
As a school we using the DfE validated No Nonsense Phonics Skills programme (NNPS) to teach phonics and early reading. Our rigorous and systematic approach to the early reading curriculum, develops children’s accuracy and fluency, building confidence and cultivates an enjoyment for reading. Our commitment to the English Hub demonstrates that reading is of the highest priority at Brooklands. Reading is the gateway to the curriculum, therefore it is fundamental to school improvement with a focus on the quality of education that we provide this for our children. We have enhanced teachers’ knowledge of the teaching of phonics and early reading through whole school training. This high-quality, professional development, provided by Debbie Hepplewhite (the author of NNPS), the English Hub and our Early Reading Lead, is maintained as the reading leader has established an effective weekly coaching system to include practice, observation and feedback to increase teacher effectiveness. All new staff in school receive training in the Autumn term to establish a solid understanding of, and consistency in, the delivery of NNPS.
With the support of the English Hub we have established a data-driven culture to ensure all children make the best possible progress in reading and children can catch up quickly. At all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all children. Any children identified, at any point of their educational journey, become our targeted for additional catch-up support. These children receive rapid intervention. Our rigorous and sequential approach to the early reading interventions develops children’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. It is supported by research on cognitive load theory, as the teaching of phonemes and early reading skills is planned in small chunks which reduces memory capacity. Termly NTS tests support the assessment and gap analysis which is used to inform teaching and intervention.
All of our children read decodable reading texts in school as part of their shared reading and also take a reading book to share at home. These books are closely matched to the phonemes/graphemes (code) that children have been taught and is systematically reviewed. These decodable reading books are used to build our children’s fluency and confidence by providing the opportunity to apply this knowledge in practice and to ensure that children have a sense of reading independence. Our children love reading and want to read because they can read all of the words in the storybook they take home. There is a visible drive from teachers for our children to be passionate readers, using this as a ‘tool’ to read their way to a promising future.
Our shared reading books are well-pitched to the children’s reading developments but with elements of challenge, linked to the vocabulary, catering for all the abilities within the class.