Phonics

EYFS and KS1 teach phonics and early reading skills using the letters and sounds approach. This is sometimes referred to as synthetic phonics.

There are 6 phases within Letters & Sounds and most children will complete Phase 6 by the end of Year 2, however this can continue into Year 3 if required.

Reading

All children in school have a class reading book and a library book. The class reading book is from the Oxford University Press Reading Scheme and is what we refer to as a “banded book” as it is a progressive scheme.

All children have an allocated time each week in their timetable to visit the school library.

Children have a reading journal which is used for parents, carers and school staff to record progress in.

At Magdalen Gates our KS2 classes have a dedicated 45 minute reading session each day following the Destination Reader approach. By developing a deeper understanding of what’s being read, Destination Reader actively engenders a love of reading which will endure throughout our children’s lives.

What is Destination Reader?

It is a pedagogical based approach (not a scheme) to teaching reading through engaging daily, structured sessions that support children to read with greater understanding, enjoyment and purpose. With a focus on explicit teaching of reading at KS2 based on research, it can be applied to any high quality text.

Destination reader covers all the expectations for the KS2 National Curriculum for reading: Word reading and breadth of reading are built on throughout the lessons with an explicit focus on understanding and engaging with texts. We check children’s understanding weekly through a ‘Big Picture’ which contains comprehension questions and activities.

This approach to reading blends a range of learning behaviours and reading strategies which, brought together, allow children to explore and understand texts independently, at a deeper level. The learning behaviours encourage children to support and actively listen to others, discuss and explain their ideas and take responsibility for their own/their group’s learning.

Once these learning behaviours have been embedded, the children learn 7 key reading strategies in turn which help them deepen their understanding of texts.

These are:

1. Predicting

2. Inferring

3. Asking questions

4. Evaluating

5. Clarifying

6. Making connections

7. Summarising

By initially concentrating on one strategy at a time, teachers are able to support and challenge children to develop their skills through high expectations of oral and written use of the strategies. The strategies are then combined as the children progress and applied to different forms of texts such as poetry and nonfiction. These strategies equip children with a robust toolkit to apply when reading across the curriculum and at home.