Reading and Phonics

The teaching of phonics and guided reading at Benthal Primary School

At Benthal, phonics is taught through a systematic, synthetic phonics programme called Read, Write Inc. The scheme focuses on the key components of reading – decomposition and comprehension – and the school follows the Read Write Inc reading scheme to ensure that all children are able to read books at an appropriate level of challenge. The scheme is used from Reception through to Year 2 and in Key Stage 2 it is used as an intervention programme for those children who require a further boost to their reading, writing and spelling skills. The children are placed in groups according to ability that are reviewed on an ongoing basis and the school follows the assessments outlined in the programme. They are taught new sounds (phonemes) systematically and, alongside the sound (phoneme), they are taught the corresponding letter (grapheme) and its correct formation. Thus they learn how to segment words into their component sounds and then blend them together to aid both reading and writing.

The school has a Phonics Subject Leader who takes the lead in modelling, monitoring and assessing the phonics programme.

For information about how to help your child with phonics, watch the video below:

Guided Reading
Guided Reading is taught across the school although the format is relatively different in both key stages.

In Key Stage 1 – years 1 and 2 – the children are taught reading through the Read, Write Inc programme for which children are placed in groups according to ability. In addition, there is time during the day for teachers to reinforce phonics and to hear children read individually. There may be one or two groups taking part in additional reading-led activities at this time. The emphasis is on individual reading, consolidation of reading skills and phonic reinforcement during this session.

All Guided Reading sessions are planned in order to make sure all strands for reading are covered. Reception children participate in twice weekly story sessions in small groups. The text is read to them; the purpose of these sessions is to develop comprehension skills.  More information can be found in the EYFS Reading policy.

Destination Reader
Destination Reader (DR) is an adapted approach to teaching reading in Key Stage 2. The approach involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling, prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. DR is delivered at the start of the day as reading is prioritised to help children become stimulated with quality texts and a variety of skills. 

The timetable below exemplifies the weekly structure of DR and how each session is implemented. Our aim is to promote a purposeful reading provision which allows all pupils to  deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. The children take part in a vocabulary session once a week to develop their clarifying skills and become familiar with new words.