Phonics and Reading

How we teach phonics and reading

The school uses a nationally recognised scheme called Letters and Sounds to teach phonics.

Phonics is a method of teaching reading which first teaches the letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words. It also teaches the children the connection between the sound and the spelling pattern that represents them when they write words down.

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right 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.

There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers.

phonics

If you would like to know more about how you can help your child learn their sounds and learn to read your child’s class teacher is the best person to talk to. The link below will take you to the Letters and Sounds website where there are some ideas and resources which may help you at home too.

http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/

Teaching phonics and reading in Reception

In reception children will have a 15 minute phonic session each day. The children in the three classes are split into six groups for phonics which allows staff to target children at their specific abilities and ensure that rapid progress takes place.

Outside this taught session children are given many opportunities to read and write both through structured teaching and child initiated provision which is carefully planned by staff and changed regularly to meet the children’s needs.

If you visit us you will see that reading and writing is valued in Foundation Stage and encouraged in both the inside and outside areas.

Reading remains a top priority and staff are always thinking up new ways to make sure children are motivated to read and continue to be excited by learning to read. This even spurred a visit from Spider-Man who read the children a great story before zooming out of the classroom!

Home learning to support reading and phonics in Reception

We expect parents to hear their children read at home each day.

We expect parents to hear their children read for a minimum of 10 minutes at home each day.

Phonics workshops are offered throughout the year to support parents and we also offer an after school Early Learning Club during two terms in the Reception year where parents can come into school and work with the children and staff on reading and other learning activities.

We have many initiatives throughout the Foundation Stage to encourage reading and parental involvement from parents volunteering to hear our wonderful readers, parents offering to read to the class in their home language and even a ‘Dads Only’ reading day as we recognise that boys really look to male role models for encouragement.

Teaching phonics and reading in Years 1 and 2

Phonics

In Year 1 and 2 the children will have a 20 minute phonic session each day. The children are taught in different groups so that children learning similar sounds are grouped and taught together.

Reading

In addition the children have an additional 30 minute taught reading session each day.

In Year 1 we call this ‘Supported Reading’ and the children will work in groups in the classroom with each group of about 6 children led by an adult. The Daily Supported Reading Programme is a classroom programme that helps to move all children on in their reading. It helps children make accelerated progress by working with trained adults in small groups matched to their independent reading levels. This method has a proven track record of success in raising school reading standards in KS1.

In Year 2 the children have a 30 minute reading session each day. While the teacher and teaching assistant work with small groups of children, other groups are developing their reading skills by doing independent work. This might be finding out information from books or doing teacher directed work on a book they have just read. The teacher will work with each group at least once a week and each group will also get additional support on some other days from the teaching assistant and sometimes a trained volunteer.

The teacher will work with the children using a method called ‘Reciprocal Reading’ where the teacher teaches the children to understand and take meaning from what they have read using four key strategies: summarising, asking questions, clarifying, and predicting.

Home learning to support reading at home in Years 1 and 2

For home learning the children are expected to read at home each night, ideally with an adult and have this reading time signed off in their reading diaries. For most children 10 -15 minutes would be an appropriate amount of time to spend reading.

Teaching of phonics and Reading in Years 3-6

Phonics

Children who have not yet mastered phonics will get additional small group phonic teaching usually once each day.  Our assessments identify what phonic knowledge the children do not have and our teaching is designed to ensure the children catch up and develop these skills.

Reading

In Years 3 to 6 the children have a daily 30 minute reading session. While the teacher works with small groups of children, other groups are developing their reading skills by doing independent work. This might be finding out information from books or doing a teacher directed work on a book. The teacher will work with each group at least once a week and each group may also get additional support on other days from the teaching assistant and sometimes a trained volunteer.
The teacher will work with the children using a method called ‘Reciprocal Reading’ where the teacher teaches the children to understand and take meaning from what they have read using four key strategies: summarising, asking questions, clarifying, and predicting.

In Year 6 these sessions will focus more closely on ensuring the children have the skills they need to do well in their end of Year reading SAT test.

Home learning to support reading in Years 3 to 6

For home learning the children are expected to read at home each night, ideally with an adult and have this reading time signed off in their reading diaries. For most children in Years 3 and 4 we would expect about 15 minutes spent on home reading. As the children get older and begin to read longer books this time will increase.

The children will also be encouraged to read books or look on-line as they do research to help them with their topic or creative curriculum homework.