Phonics & Early Reading
We have elected to follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme and the principles of this are applicable throughout the school. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
All children in Foundation and Key Stage One have daily phonics based on this programme. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. In Key Stage Two, Letters and Sounds continues until children are ready to move into a complementary program, Support for Spelling.
Some words in the English language cannot be broken down using phonics. These words are known as tricky words and we teach the children to be able to read and instantly know the whole word, for example, ‘said’ or ‘what’.
Reading for Pleasure
We promote a mixture of free-choice and guided reading materials and encourage a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. All pupils experience a blend of individual, whole class and group-based reading. We also encourage older pupils to share their skills and enjoyment of reading by organising paired reading between Key Stage 1 and 2 classes.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, we teach through a variety of 'banded' scheme books (including from Oxford Reading Tree, Project ‘X’ and Big Cat) and move on to choosing from other 'banded' books when appropriate. All pupils benefit from class readers which include scheme books and ‘real’ books and they also make their own choices from our school library.
In Key Stage 2, we use a variety of texts selected to meet the levels and interests of the children we teach, or to support and broaden topic work. Pupils are encouraged to develop their personal reading habits by choosing their own books from the school library or by bringing in current texts from home.