Reading & Phonics
“Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.” English National Curriculum 2014
To develop our children as readers we:
- Place a high importance on the teaching of phonics as the foundation of learning to read. Early Years and Key Stage 1 children are taught Letters and Sounds daily.
- Put in place any intervention for Key Stage 2 children who still require support with phonics work
- Teach them to read accurately and fluently using a range of strategies at school
- Aim to fulfil a positive home agreement partnership by encouraging children to read at home to adults on a regular basis
- Help them to understand and respond to what they read using inference and deduction where appropriate
- Supply varied reading materials so that children have a diet of non-fiction, fiction and poetry reading texts
- Encourage them to read independently and for pleasure, which ultimately helps to increase pupils’ vocabulary
- Teach them to seek information and learn from what they read
- Encourage them to use their reading skills as an integral part of their learning across the curriculum
- Read regularly to children so as to model good practice in reading
- Provide a rich literacy environment, with book corners in every classroom and central library area for whole school use.
- Organise Library Bus visits through the year, organise yearly World Book Day activities and hold Spellbinding Book Club for Year 5 and 6
From summer term in Reception, all children take part in Guided Reading sessions, which are an important, weekly element of the English curriculum. Teachers use a variety of resources including a set of readers, playscripts, leaflets and non-fiction texts. Care is taken to ensure that children are grouped appropriately according to their reading level. Teachers or teaching assistants leading the guided reading sessions are guiding the children to focus on words, sentences and understanding the whole text, with emphasis on deduction and inference.
LETTERS AND SOUNDS
Phonics is the prime approach to learning to read and spell and we make high quality phonics teaching a priority each day across Early years and KS1. Our sessions are systematic and interactive; allowing children to learn in a mixture of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic styles. Children take part in daily 30-minute phonics sessions led by teachers who are fully trained in phonics teaching. Children link sounds (phonemes) and their written form (graphemes) in order to recognise and read words, using basic units of knowledge to “decode” new or unfamiliar words. Words are made up of just 44 sounds in English. You may have heard your child or their teacher use particular words that form the core of understanding phonics. Here’s a quick explanation of some of the key concepts.
- Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound as it is spoken.
- Grapheme – a written symbol that represents a sound (phoneme) that’s either one letter or a sequence of letters
- Digraph – two letters that work together to make the same sound (ch, sh, ph)
- Trigraph – three letters that work together to make the same sound (igh, ore, ear)
- Split digraph (sometimes called ‘magic e’) – two letters that work together to make the same sound, separated by another letter in the same word. This enables children to understand the difference in vowel sounds between, for example, grip/gripe, rag/rage, tap/tape.
Our approach to phonics is ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends.’ This programme is a fully systematic, synthetic phonic approach ranging from the simple to the complex spellings of the alphabetic code. Supported by their Supersonic Phonic friends, this approach will ensure children develop confidence and apply each skill to their own reading and writing.
The benefits of this approach include:
– Active engagement at all times ensuring every session is maximised, making every minute count.
– It is fun and physical; indoor and outdoors and so much more…
– Supersonic Phonic Friends fully meets the DFE’s 16 Essential Core Criteria. It ensures commitment, consistent, creative quality first teaching of phonics across all key stages.
– Injecting new life into phonics. Exciting, engaging and brain friendly phonics made simple and easy for teachers and children.
-Supersonic Phonic Friends has parent workshops, activities and weekly parent newsletters for all the phases, to support and carry on learning at home learning.
Please visit the website for more information and to meet the characters!
From Year 2, we continue to explore grapheme phoneme correspondence all the way up to Year 6 with a systematic approach to building on the firm foundations from our Supersonic Phonics Programme. From year 2, children will access daily spelling sessions.
The Phonics Screening Check is administered at the end of Year One by the Year One teacher, and attainment details are published nationally and to parents. Any child who does not obtain the national pass mark is required to re-sit the test at the end of Year Two. Children entering Key Stage Two who still require further assistance with phonics work attend 15 minute “top-up” phonics sessions two to three times a week. Also, children in KS2 work on IDL computer programme to help with spelling.
READING FOR PLEASURE
‘Reading for pleasure opens up new worlds for children. It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new characters.
Reading for pleasure also improves children’s well-being and empathy. It helps them to understand their own identity, and gives them an insight into the world and the views of others. Research shows that reading for pleasure can be directly linked to children’s success throughout their time at school and even into adulthood.’
- We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at our school and our local community, as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
- In Nursery and Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
- We have a ‘reading for pleasure’ section in the school library that is regularly updated with new books from the Library Services. These books can be borrowed by parents, children or teachers to take home and enjoy reading.
- The school library is made available for classes to use regularly.
- Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc).
- We hold reading competitions; ‘Extreme Reading’, ‘Your lap is better than an app.’
- KS2 children have access to our Spellbinding Book Club throughout the Spring Term.
- KS1 children have a summer term, ‘Reading Challenge Club’.
- We are currently organising a Book Swap Box for children and parents to access and share their pre-loved books.