Reading, Synthetic Phonics and Reading Schemes



The slideshow below indicates Foundation's approach to teaching of reading, including systematic synthetic phonics.

Key Stage 1

At St Cuthbert’s we use several reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn New 360, Gin All Aboard. We aim to promote reading confidence through gradual progression, to provide children with the tools they need to become successful readers. We do this through the use of natural language structures and rhythms of speech, the gentle introduction of new words, which are then subsequently reinforced, clear story structure, accessible story content, where meaning is the key and a close match between the text and the illustrations.

The books in all the schemes are carefully levelled and we mark each book according to Reading Recovery levels and Book Band levels. (There are approximately 2-3 Reading Recovery levels within each Book Band level.) We aim to ensure that the children progress through the levels but it is extremely important that they are able to read for meaning, understanding & have read a wide variety of books at each level. This includes reading non-fiction texts as well as fiction books.

We also use Running Records alongside the PM Benchmark Kits, which provide a comprehensive assessment tool for children in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, to ensure consistent and accurate levelling in reading.

Each week the children will have a guided reading lesson where an adult will use a variety of books from Pelican Guided Reading and Writing, Treetops or Oxford Reading Tree. 

Key Stage 2

Many children will still continue to use books from the schemes in the Juniors, others may progress to Library books. Children will be monitored through Running Records & the Benchmark Kit, to ensure that they are on the right instructional level for reading ability.

The children will also have a weekly guided reading lesson where a variety of books and texts are selected to be read & discussed, using reading assessment foci: Pelican Guided Reading and Writing, Treetops, Oxford Reading Tree.

The school has recently purchased Accelerated Reader, an excellent online reading resource. It is currently used with Years 5+6 and it is hoped that eventually Years 3+4 could also use it. The children are encouraged to read independently & to read for pleasure within our daily Basic Skills lessons. The books they access are a wide variety of fiction & non-fiction books. The books have been levelled according to zones of proximal development (ZPD). The children initially sit an online assessment which gives them an accurate ZPD. The child can then read books from that ZPD range. When they have completed the book, they then take an online quiz about the book & receive a % score and points which they can record. The teacher is able to use online tools to monitor the child’s progress.