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Reading at Northfield

Reading at Northfield


At Northfield, learning to read and developing a love of reading, is a priority across the school. We aim to inspire an appreciation of the power and wonder of books and a habit of reading  widely and often, through sharing a variety of quality texts. Staff here understand that if a child can read, they can succeed.


Five Pillars of Reading

Our reading programme aims to develop the five pillars of reading: phonemic awareness, phonic knowledge, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.


Phonemic Awareness - this is the understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds, called phonemes. Phonemic awareness is oral and auditory and the focus is on the sounds in words. It does not involve print of letter names. Children in our Nursery will encounter this in phase one of our phonics programme.


Phonics - the focus of phonics instruction is both visual and auditory and concentrates on the letter/sound relationships. During explicit phonics instruction, pupils are taught the letter or letter combinations that represent the 44 sounds or phonemes that are in the English language. Here at Northfield, we teach phonics through a systematical synthetic approach using Rocket Phonics. This scheme focuses on only two phonemes a week to help embed learning. Lessons take place daily in EYFS and eight times a week (four in the morning and four in the afternoon) in KS1. TAs provide immediate, targeted interventions for any children struggling with each phonics phase in KS1 and for any children still struggling in KS2. Children who are accessing phonics lessons, will also receive a phonetically decodable book that links to their phonics learning.


Fluency - this is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly and expressively while making sense of the words being read. This is critical to developing a pupil's motivation to read. In order to develop fluency, children reading a phonetically decodable book will be asked to keep the book for a week to allow for repeated readings which will develop their ability to read words on sight rather than having to decode and sound them out.


Vocabulary - direct instruction of explicitly taught vocabulary, as well as word-learning strategies, help children to build a flourishing vocabulary and improve their reading fluency and comprehension. Key topic and vocabulary words are displayed on working walls in the classroom and are discussed frequently to help embed understanding.


Comprehension - this is the ability to understand, remember and make meaning of what is read. Year 1 to year 6 will have daily whole class guided reading lessons where they are exposed to a quality text. This text is studied in depth and each lesson will focus on a different skill: vocabulary, fluency, retrieval, inference, deduction etc. Background knowledge to a text will also be shared to help our children develop a broader understanding.


Books to support emotional well being in KS1 and KS2

Free Audio and Ebooks for you to enjoy with your children.