Reading at woodlands
Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything.
And I mean everything.
At Woodlands, we consider learning to read as one the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
Reading in Nursery, Reception and Year One
We use the Read Write Inc. phonic scheme to teach our children to read and write as soon as they enter our reception classes. Read Write Inc is a fast-paced, rigorous and structured phonics programme that helps get every child reading fast and gives our teachers the confidence and skills to deliver high-quality teaching every day. Your child is encouraged to read a text for meaning with three readings of each story to ensure that the story is understood and read with fluency and expression. All of our Read Write Inc. programmes have partner work at their heart. Children work in pairs and talk together at every stage of the lesson to enhance their spoken language and embed their understanding. Our phonic sessions have writing activities which are linked to the storybooks at every level, as well as handwriting activities. They include many structured activities such as ‘Build a sentence’ to help your child become better writers. Every day, children think out loud before they write to help them hold more complex ideas and sentences in their heads. At Woodlands, we know that our children become confident readers and writers as a result of sound, effective phonics teaching from the start.
The Phonics Teaching Cycle
Every week, your child will bring home a Book Bag Book to read to you. This book links to the storybook that your child is reading within Phonics sessions at school. It is at the correct level for your child to read independently and with confidence. Your child will also bring home a book that they have chosen themselves from the EYFS library. Your child may, or may not, be able to read this book independently. However, this is okay as the purpose of this book is to spend time sharing a book together – snuggle up and enjoy! We want your child to love reading and books and, ultimately, to want to read for themselves for pleasure. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
If you would like to read any additional books together at home, why not access Oxford Owl’s online library via the link below. There are hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles for you to enjoy!
Support for parents and carers
At Woodlands, we run regular reading meetings and phonics stay and learn sessions to support our parents and carers to learn more about how we teach reading and to provide hints and tips for how best to help children at home.
For those parents and carers who have been unable to attend our recent sessions, please find useful links below,
stories, songs, nuresry Rhymes and poetry
Daily Story Time with Our Favourite Five
We want our children to develop a love of reading and of great stories. As a way to support this, each class throughout Nursery, Reception and Year One selects their Favourite Five stories each half term. These stories are read to the children again and again, throughout the week, across the term. Through listening to repeated readings, and talking about what they have heard, the children have multiple exposures to vocabulary and the language of stories. Continued talk about words, as well as opportunities to use them, helps our children to become increasingly familiar with the language found within its pages. Through stories, our children encounter vocabulary that they may not hear in everyday conversation but will come across in writing, once they can read for themselves.
Our Favourite Five stories are chosen because they:
– Elicit a response: curiosity, anger, excitement, enjoyment, amusement, interest,
– Have a strong narrative
– Extend vocabulary (not too many new words at once)
– Connect with something they know/ we’re teaching
– Use illustrations to support the narrative
– Reflect children from a minority ethnic background.
Some of the most popular Favourite Five in previous terms have been Wonky Donkey by Jonathan Long, Farmer Duck by Martin Wadell, Winnie and Wilbur: (Winnie the Witch) – Valerie Thomas, Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy, One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth, The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright, George and the Dragon by Christopher Wormell and The Gingerbread Man.
daily song, rhyme and poetry time
Daily songs and nursery rhyme times are another important part of the day for our youngest children in school. Through enjoying rhymes, poems and songs, and reciting poems or parts of longer poems together as a class, we build our children’s strong emotional connection to language.
By learning poetry and songs using ‘call and response’, we enable our children to join in
gradually. Each repetition strengthens their vocabulary, embedding new words. Our teachers have identified a core set of poems, songs and rhymes for their classes. They have been chosen because they complement each termly theme, can withstand a lot of repetition, elicit a strong response and extend children’s vocabulary in different areas of learning.
Reading in Key Stage One and Two
ONCE A CHILD CAN READ 100 WORDS PER MINUTE FLUENTLY AND CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY HAVE READ, THEY ACCESS LITERACY LESSONS. TYPICALLY, THIS IS AT THE START OF YEAR 2 FOR PUPILS AT WOODLANDS.
Children are also given the opportunity to choose books from a wealth of decodable books available in school. These books are progressively banded, based upon the challenge posed. The band the children read is regularly monitored by staff. Once the children have surpassed the banded system, they are considered to be a ‘free reader’ and have no specific range of books they are to choose from. Children are encouraged to pick a book that they’ll enjoy but also one that will challenge them!
Children across Key Stage 1 and 2 access Guided Reading sessions daily. Guiding Reading processes at Woodlands ensures the children are taught the skills required to become a competent reader. Staff implement a weekly cycle that is systematic, progressive and consistently demonstrates high expectations of our children. This cycle varies throughout school although follows the same, general structure, .
Key stage 1 KEY Stage 2
My Book Blog
MyBookBlog is used throughout year 2 and Key Stage 2, often as a part of Guided Reading sessions. MyBookBlog is an online resource designed to enhance our children’s journeys through well-loved stories. It supports our pupils to choose fantastic books, available in school libraries and bookshops, using blurbs, trailers, reviews, and ratings from other children. Our children can then read their chosen book at home or at school and complete the activities on MyBookBlog at any time.
The activities on MyBookBlog encourage pupils to blog about their thoughts and feelings and explore the subject matter, The activities also support them to fully comprehend the text they are reading and learn new vocabulary.
As children read, their homepage grows. As they collect favourite words, facts, cards, maps and timelines, and share their thoughts in their blog, their homepage becomes a record of their reading journey.
MyBookBlog currently features units to support over 100 well-loved stories, New units are published every week.
If your child is in Key Stage 2, they can use the link below to log-in to their MyBookBlog account to add books that they have read at home to their digital shelf or to find out more about the books that they are currently reading at school.
Our pupils love using MyBookBlog. Here are some of the things that they have said about it,
‘I enjoy writing reviews on BookBlog – it’s cool! I have BookBlog at home too– I do it by myself.’ Nate, Y3
‘It’s quite fun because you are learning about new books. You never know what’ll happen!’
‘There are lots of questions on BookBlog – sometimes they are quite tricky!’ Theo, Y4
interventions – we are a keep up, not catch up school!
Interventions at Woodlands are specific, additional activities that focus on the individual needs of our children.
While children continue to access our phonics scheme, from Reception to Yr 6, if they are identified as not making expected progress or are in danger of falling behind, they will be provided with daily, 1:1 tutoring sessions. All of our RWI tutors have been trained to provide the very best support to pupils whether they need to learn gaps in sound knowledge, learn to blend or improve fluency to enable them to read 100+ words per minute.
We offer two further, group, interventions that are based upon the triangulation of assessment outcomes. Both have been designed specifically to meet the needs of our children and to follow on from the Read Write Inc scheme. These are Speedy Reading and Understanding Reading.
Accessing these interventions ensures the children receive the high quality, targeted support that they require to decode more quickly, further developing fluency. It also ensures that children are able to explore a text in greater depth and further develop their comprehension skills. All interventions are closely monitored by the Reading and English Leader and our SENCO.
‘I like reading! My intervention helps me to read other books. I discover brand new words that I don’t know.’ Hayden, Y3
‘It’s quite fun – you get to read a new book each week. We are timed and get faster each time!’ Alexis, Y3
We have our very own Reading Squad at Woodlands. They are a team of year 6 pupils that work with 12 of our year 2 children to help them to know and remember sounds that they are struggling to retain. We use online RWI resources for this. The Reading Squad work with the younger children 3 times every week.
reading at home
Once children have successfully completed the RWI phonics programme, they are given the opportunity to choose books from a wealth of decodable books available in school. These books are progressively banded, based upon the challenge posed. The band the children read is regularly monitored by staff. Once the children have surpassed the banded system, they are considered to be a ‘free reader’ and have no specific range of books they are to choose from. Children are encouraged to pick a book that they’ll enjoy but also one that will challenge them!
It is important that a love of reading is fostered at home as well as at Woodlands. Reading is not something that children should only do in school; we believe that it should be an everyday part of our pupils’ lives and something they choose to do for pleasure.
Every child, from Reception to Year 6, is provided with a school reading book and diary. Parents are encouraged to use question examples (found in the back of each reading diary) to assist and support reading at home. Class teachers also provide parents with a modelled response/comment at the start of the year, using some of the questions provided. For example:
Our children are encouraged to read as often as possible at home. Any child who hasn’t read at home during the week, is asked to attend our reading club in order to read to an adult or a year 6 Reading Buddy. Our pupils receive a reading raffle ticket for every adult comment/signature they receive in their reading diary on a weekly basis. A raffle draw takes place every half-term, resulting in one winner per class. This child is rewarded with either a book voucher or a book of their choice. The impact of this strategy is an increase in the frequency of children reading at home.
Promoting a Love of Reading at Woodlands
At Woodlands, reading underpins everything that we do and supports our children to develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
In order to support and enhance pupils’ understanding and engagement of our termly themes, a range of stories and non-fiction texts are identified for teachers to complement and enhance their curriculum offer. Click on the link to see some of our favourites;
Shropshire Library Service
We use the Shropshire Library Service to ensure that classroom libraries are replenished with new books to read every term that link to and complement the year groups theme.
At Woodlands, every class incorporates an engaging book corner for children to enjoy and interact with, in order to further promote a love of reading. Here, you will find books clearly displayed with their front cover showing to entice the children, author spotlights, book reviews and much more!
‘I enjoy going in the book corner because there’s lots of books to enjoy. We spot verbs and adjectives!’
‘There are also Atlases in the book corner – I enjoy looking at them with other children.’
‘I found a Star Wars book in the book corner – it’s really good!’
‘It’s comfy and there’s a wide range of books to discover.’
Woodlands’ Library is an integral part of our school environment, providing children with a quiet and calm place to enjoy reading. We enjoy a fantastic library space, housing a diverse range of fiction & non-fiction books and resources to engage our pupils. Children are timetabled to visit the library each week during the school day.
Our library is also open every afternoon until 3.30pm. This session enables our children and their families to browse our, ever expanding, selection of books and choose one to enjoy together at home.
‘In the Library, we get to explore the books. We enjoy that!’
‘It’s very good – there’s lots of books. Some are very interesting and some are very big. I enjoy looking on the taller shelves!’
We regularly remind our children that they could become a member of Telford and Wrekin libraries, including Madeley library for the opportunity to borrow even more books and to enjoy special events organised by them throughout. To find out more, please click on the links below,
Special events throughout the school year…
world book day
Every year, ‘World Book Day’ is marked throughout the globe to celebrate books and reading. Created in 1995, UNESCO intended to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them. Children are gifted with a £1 book token, which they can use to purchase one of a specific range of purpose-written books or use towards the price of an existing book.
To promote World Book Day, Woodlands enjoy participating in a range of fun-filled activities, mainly dressing up as a character of their choice or providing clues for their character which their peers then try to guess. Last year, we also hosted a ‘Masked Reader’ event, where children were asked to guess which masked teacher was reading their favourite book.
Scholastic believe ‘reading for pleasure is transformative for pupils’ academic success and personal wellbeing’ therefore, twice a year, we host a Book Fair that brings the very best of children’s books to Woodlands. Families are invited to browse the book fayre, before and after school for roughly a week, creating a fantastic buzz throughout the school. Every book purchased results in free books and resources for Woodlands, ultimately benefitting all children in our setting.
Bedtime Stories is a very popular event at Woodlands, which usually takes place in the winter months near to Christmas. Children are invited to stay after school, change into their pyjamas and experience a range of Christmas and winter-themed books with various adults across our setting. The children also enjoy a treat of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows so that it really feels like a cosy winter’s evening!
At Woodlands, we host a weekly lunchtime reading club for children to attend if they choose. The intention of this is to provide children with the opportunity to fulfil their reading homework obligation in school time if it is difficult to at home. It is also there as an opportunity for those children who just love reading! The smooth running of this club is supported by our older children who listen to the younger children read and model high quality reading comments in their diaries.
To conclude the day, every class dedicates time to sharing a story. As well as providing another opportunity for them to participate in a guided reading session, this dedicated time also improves children’s understanding of the world and stimulates their imagination, thus encouraging them to know and remember more.
Often, the text chosen is linked to the year group’s topic. For example, in the autumn term, Y6 focus on ‘Fight for Freedom’ in their Literacy, which incorporates exploring how black people have fought for equality throughout history. For this reason, Y6 read ‘Journey to Jo’burg’ in story time about a poor, black family experiencing apartheid South Africa.
‘It’s really good reading our story at the end of the day. It’s Matilda by Roald Dahl.’
‘Reading at the end of the day is nice and calm. I like to listen!’
Not only do we have a well stocked library alongside our classroom reading areas, but we also enjoy regular visits and workshops with children’s authors. After every visit, we add the new stories to our library for all to enjoy! In recent years, our children have worked with Phil Earle, Stephan Pass, Gemma Everson, Sarah Griffiths, Toni Sian Williams, Catherine Cooper and Eric Pullin
By clicking on the books below, you will be taken to a bookshop that sells the titles shared in school.
Please click on the link below to see how a typical child will progress through our synthetic phonics program, Read Write Inc.
Our curriculum is carefully designed to ensure key knowledge and skills progress in a logical and sequenced way, thus enabling pupils to revisit previously taught content and to build upon it year on year. We use carefully structured progression documents to ensure that substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills are clearly outlined and sequenced, thus enabling the children to know and remember more, as they move through school.
Writing at woodlands
At Woodlands, we recognise the importance of writing, not just in Literacy but throughout the curriculum and as a life skill. Children are given every opportunity to develop technical writing skills and to then apply this learning to a range of styles, purposes and audiences. Units are planned so that children are introduced to and immersed in range of genres including fiction, non- fiction and poetry. Children continually evaluate and improve their own work and understand their next steps for learning. Clear learning objectives with success criteria enable children to recognise the steps they need to make progress in their writing.
As part of our phonic and literacy sessions, children are taught to use a cursive script and joining is encouraged as soon as letters are formed correctly. Children take pride in their books and work is well presented. Click on the link below to find out more about how our pupils begin forming letters.
Please find further information below in our whole school progression documents for Writing.
We use carefully structured progression documents to ensure that substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills are clearly outlined and sequenced, thus enabling the children to know and remember more, as they move through school.
The teaching of handwriting across school is also sequenced:
We follow the RWI spelling scheme to ensure the progressive teaching of spelling across school:
WOODIES’ READERS IS OUR TERMLY UPDATE ON EVERYTHING READING!
Includes: news, author interviews, recommendations, reviews and learning guides to support reading at home!
Please send in any book reviews of your favourite book or photos of you reading at home, to see if you can make it into the next edition of Woodie’s Readers.
Take a look by clicking on the links below:
supporting excellence in english
We are proud to be an English Hub school. English Hub schools take a leading role in supporting primary schools across the country to improve the teaching of early language, love of reading and phonics.
Throughout the year, Mrs Duncombe and Mrs Chaplin work as SLEs with school leaders and staff, in primary schools across the county, to offer advice and guidance in order to improve reading and writing outcomes for their pupils.