We break up for the school holidays on Fri 22 July at 1pm

English

Reading 

"Young people who enjoy reading very much are nearly five times as likely to read above their expected age compared with young people who do not enjoy reading at all"
Children's and Young People's Reading Today, National Literacy Trust, 2021

Reading has a very high profile at Wootton Bassett Infants and book corners are well-resourced, up to date, stimulating, and contain a range of text types. Books are displayed in classrooms to engage children and support topic work.

What's in your child's bookbag?

  • Every child has a fully decodable book and a reading for pleasure book from the classroom
  • The decodable book is for your child to read to you
  • The other book is for you to read and enjoy with your child
  • We encourage re-reading decodable books 3 times - for decoding, fluency and comprehension/understanding

All classes plan using a topic -based approach which is either based on or supported by key texts. The key texts are displayed in classrooms so that links and comparisons can be made. Most of the written work produced by the children is directly related to and supported by the texts that have been read. Our genre map ensures that there is a balance between fiction, non- fiction and poetry.
 

Reading Scheme 


We promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books children take home. Texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading. At present we are using decodable books from Big Cat Collins which support our current phonics progression. However, we are very excited to be introducing books from Ransom Reading Stars Phonics to add to Big Cat Collins to ensure complete the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression that we will be following from September 2022. 

Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our book scheme and free choice books so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.

Children who are not supported in their reading at home are identified as priority readers who will read as often as possible during the week at school. 
The children also take part in small group guided reading sessions, shared reading and whole class guided reading. Texts are chosen based on the phonics phase the children are on. Guided reading sessions are planned to develop accurate decoding, fluency and comprehension with specific reading tasks set for the children who are working independently during these sessions. Purple Mash is used to reinforce specific reading skills, while book reviews, grammar, vocabulary and comprehension activities are completed independently during guided reading sessions. In Year 2 shared reading is explored through Vipers, a reading comprehension scheme.

Two key reading initiatives are encouraged across the school:

The 100 books to read before you leave WBI aims to encourage reading for pleasure as they are all books that are highly regarded and are books that the children are encouraged to share at home as well as being key texts that we explore through topic work, assemblies and reading to the children at the end of the day. These books are available from the school library and through Wootton Bassett library who work with us to ensure the texts are available and on display. We have used the book covers to create butterflies which are displayed in the school library and some classrooms to highlight the initiative. The children receive a small prize from Mrs Pass for every 20 reads on the list.

The 150 Club encourages all parents to read with their child 5 times a week and record those reads in their child’s reading record book. The winners receive a special prize or treat from Mrs Pass at the end of each term for a child in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.

We also deliver a reading workshop annually to inform parents about how we teach reading; the importance of reading and the end of KS1 expectation for reading. 

A copy of the Presentation can be found hereReading Presentation for Parents

Pre- school children from the local area are invited into school for reading sessions with different staff and they are encouraged to borrow books from the school library. 

All teachers read to their classes every day. Books are chosen by teachers and children and reflect new books, classics, non -fiction and poetry. We enjoy a Book Week in March (to celebrate World Book Day) where the children receive a World Book Day token. They also visit the local library (when COVID restrictions allow) and are encouraged to take part in a book swap in our own school library.

Poetry plays a huge part in the work we do in school. We have created a poetry spine so that each year group is exposed to wonderful rhymes and stories in school - more information can be found here Wootton Bassett Infants' School Poetry Spine

Trips and events in school are often book related such as visiting theatre groups, the Year 2 trip to the Watermill Theatre and the Roald Dahl Museum and the Christmas play- 2019 saw all Key Stage 1 children take part in The Snow Queen while all EYFS children told the story of the Nativity. West End in Schools visit annually to help us to celebrate World Book Day through dance. 

The school library is timetabled, and groups use it regularly.

Being able to read is fundamental to education and proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for children to be successful learners. Here at WBIS, we aim to create successful and enthusiastic readers and we believe that parents and carers can play a major part in this success.

Wootton Bassett Infants' School Reading Charter - April 2022

100 Books to read before you leave WBIS - Part 1

100 Books to read before you leave WBIS - Part 2

You will find more information about our Reading Progression maps in knowledge and skills. 

Wootton Bassett Infants' School Reading Knowledge Progression

Wootton Bassett Infants' School Reading Skills Progression

Phonics 

We use Unlocking Letter and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in December 2021.

We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progree in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English language and how they can be represented, as well as learning 'Common Exception' words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught with Phase 2, 3 and 4.

You can use this link to help in your own understanding on how to produce the 'pure' sounds when teaching phonics to your child. 

Phase 2 Phonics Actions Video            Phase 2 - Actions, Images and Letter Formation

Phase 3 Phonics Actions Video            Phase 3 - Actions and Images

In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the National Phonics Screening Check.

In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps. They will then move onto Phase 6 where they will learn spelling patterns detailed in the National Curriculum. 

Year 2 Phonics and Spelling Progression

For further details please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression:

Unlocking Letters and Sounds - Summary Progression

Impact

The children in Year 1 complete the standardised phonics check in the summer term. Due to Covid restrictions, the check was delayed in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and the children completed it In the Autumn Term of Year 2.

Outcomes in school are consistently above the National and LA averages.

Phonics Parent Workshop 2022

Writing 

Writing is at the heart of all we do at Wootton Bassett Infants’ School as we want our children to enjoy writing and to view themselves as writers.  We teach writing through our creative and cross-curricular approach, which is topic based.  Across our school English lessons are taught using high quality books and supplemented with interesting and thought-provoking role play areas, visits, small world play areas, educational videos, visitors to the school and vibrant, creative displays.  Writing is taught in response to these experiences which enables the children to think of themselves as writers so they enjoy producing imaginative texts of their own. Our genre map ensures that there is a balance between fiction, non-fiction and poetry and therefore our writing in response to these genres is also balanced and the children write in many different forms.  We also promote writing for pleasure through ensuring the children have regular opportunities to write for an audience and enjoy regular ‘free writing’ opportunities where each child is provided with an exercise book which they can chose what writing they produce. 

Classroom displays celebrate the children’s writing and a whole school writing display in our office building shows how the children progress though each year group.  Each class has a ‘working wall’ which ensures that children know what they are learning and how to be successful writers in the lesson.  This is then referred to throughout the lesson by the class teacher and the children.  Classroom displays also include our ‘word of the day’ or ‘word of the week’ this is a challenging word that relates to the text that they are learning about.  This ensures that vocabulary is expanded and embedded so they can then use it in their writing.  These words are then transferred to a ‘treasure box’ permanently displayed so our magpie writers can continue to refer to them and use them in their own writing.

The children start to write from the very beginning in our Reception classes.  Opportunities to write and embed learning is provided through the classroom continuous provision both indoors and outdoors.  The children are taught to write using a phonetic approach and the children begin to write straight away through emergent writing with all efforts being celebrated and shared. Handwriting and letter formation is taught alongside phonics using the Letter-join scheme.  The children develop their independence when writing and develop their ability to spell words and write in sentences using punctuation.  They are also taught how to begin to use classroom resources to support them as independent writers.

In Key stage 1 a spelling and punctuation English lesson is taught once a week and the skills learnt are reinforced and embedded during all English lessons.  The children are also writing during other lessons such as Science, History or Geography.  The children have a separate Handwriting lesson which teaches joined writing in the cursive style using our Letter-join scheme.  Into Year 2 the children begin to develop their ability to use spelling patterns in their writing and follow the school progression and Phase 6 Phonics scheme. The children continue to follow the Letter-join scheme for handwriting. 

All classrooms have consistent resources to support the children’s writing. These range from letter and sound strips in Reception to finger spacers and common exception word mats (tricky words) in year 1 and year 2.  All classes display our Letter-join cursive handwriting style.



Speaking Listening and Vocabulary

At Wootton Bassett Infants’ our children learn in a very language rich environment.  Children are encouraged to speak clearly and in an audible voice and they are exposed to and encouraged to use a wide and varied vocabulary.  Books are often chosen as the centre of our topics so that the children are exposed to a creative and often challenging use of words for their age. Adults provide good role models of spoken language and listening skills. Children are taught how to listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers. They learn how to maintain attention and participate in conversations. They also learn how to ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge. Children have structured opportunities to build their vocabulary and learn to speak audibly and fluently. They are also encouraged to answer and speak in complete sentences justifying their answer, eg, “I think ….. because …..”.  They learn how to articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.