At Springfield Primary Academy School, reading is a priority and we intend to create confident readers who have the ability to develop a deep and true understanding of what they read and appreciate the importance and value of reading for pleasure. We aim to foster and promote a love of reading, fluency and a secure ability to comprehend information. It is important for us that children are able to comprehend at a high level rather than just sight read. We aim to create a love of reading through encouraging reading at home and working with parents to do this. In order to foster a love of reading across a range of genres, we aim to expose children to a wide range of texts and stock our library accordingly. Our learning around reading both in terms of decoding and comprehension is based on the objectives as outlined in the National Curriculum.
Early reading, from Nursery upwards, is consistently taught using the Little Wandle Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme. From Y2 (once pupils are no longer reliant on phonics to decode words and are able to read fluently) through to year 6, pupils are taught reading during daily Whole Class Reading (WCR) lessons. These lessons last between 30 (KS1) and an hour (KS2).
Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of 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 books are, where possible, selected to link with our topics and also provide a wide range of challenging and engaging texts. The quality of a text is chosen rather than making tenuous topic links. Each class will have a book, each child having their own copy, that they will read/analyse during their VIPERS reading sessions and may also be the text used for a stimulus for writing.
VIPERS stands for:
Sequence or Summarise
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and children are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
Skills Progression and Coverage
At Springfield Primary Academy, we teach a progressive reading curriculum with clear expectations for each year group linked to the National Curriculum. It ensures staff can plan and teach reading lessons which challenge and support their pupils to develop into confident, independent readers. It also gives teachers clear objectives to assess against in lessons and inform their teacher assessment. The reading curriculum is taught alongside a varied writing curriculum ensuring a wide breadth of genres are covered both in writing and reading.
All our teachers at Springfield have the highest expectation that children will become confident, proficient readers through our consistent implementation of our exciting Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme 'Little Wandle'.
At Springfield we:
- Deliver a high-quality systematic synthetic phonics programme of proven effectiveness, followed with rigour and fidelity so that children are taught consistently to use phonics as the route to reading unknown words.
- Ensure pace of the phonics programme is maintained through high quality teaching and same day intervention, so that children become confident, fluent and independent readers.
- Ensure children’s reading books show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know to support decoding skills, building fluency.
Our children begin their Little Wandle journey in Nursery. We focus on the first part of the programme called ‘Foundations for Phonics’. This concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for phonic work where correspondence is made between phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters). The emphasis during this phase is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Our children are introduced to and begin letter – sound correspondence in nursery and enjoy doing this through an array of exciting games and familiar words.
In nursery children are taught how to handle books, that print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through book talk and the reading and sharing of books.
Our Phonics journey then continues into Reception and Year 1.
- In Reception we continue to use the Little Wandle Letter and Sounds progression, ensuring that children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
- We teach phonics for 25 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible.
- We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child at Springfield learns to read.
Phonics is taught in a whole class approach. Any gaps in knowledge are addressed through individual and group interventions (additional to whole class phonics sessions) from the start of the year in order for children to ‘keep up’ with their peers. Therefore, our children then move through the phase groups as one group together. Any children who have more significant learning gaps, will be taught in a separate group to meet their specific need.
We ensure regular assessment to monitor the progress of our children.
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily 'Keep-up' support. 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 use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify progress and any gaps in children's phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
We want all of our children to have a love of reading! Each week every child takes part in Reading Squad.
- Reading Squad takes place three times a week. Children read books matched to their phonic knowledge. Every child reads the same book 3 times a week with an adult.
- In session 1, the children decode the sounds to read the words.
- In session 2, the adult models reading the book with fluency and expression (prosody) and the children then re-read the book with this in mind.
- In session 3, the children answer simple comprehension questions about the book.
Ensuring consistency and pace of progress
- Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach early reading by Little Wandle, so we have the same expectations of progress. We use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
More information can be found on the Little Wandle website: