Reading and Phonics statement
Phonics is taught via a structured programme of daily lessons across the foundation stage and in Key Stages 1 and 2, in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Letters and Sounds programme is followed but has been enhanced to meet the requirements of the new curriculum, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by Rapid Phonics, Read, Write Inc, Education City, Espresso and other ICT games.
Each phonics session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
Phases of the Phonics Programme
Children in Reception begin with Phase 1, which provides a range of listening activities through play which develops children's listening skills. As the year progresses, they continue to build upon the listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonics work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught, and the children learn to write the letters to encode words. Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage, just one spelling is given for each phoneme. When children become secure they continue into Phase 4, where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase. It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they begin Year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations and spellings, and they will begin to learn about prefixes and suffixes. It is expected that children entering Year 2 will start Phase 6, which develops a variety of spelling strategies including word specific spellings eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. At this stage they will also learn the accurate spelling of words containing unusual GPCs such as 'laughs' and ,two'.
Our spelling programs complement the phonics learned from Reception through to the end of KS2. The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. Intervention programs are in place for those children who are not reaching the expected standard.
Our Year 1 children take the Phonics Screening Check in June each year. Prior to this, parents are given guidance on how they can support their child at home. The purpose of the Phonics Screening Check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1 re-sit the check in Year 2, and are given additional support throughout the year in order to develop their skills. As children enter KS2, provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics.
At St Minver School, children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, developing the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading.
Children read in school independently, in guided groups, with reading buddies, and as a shared class session. They listen to adults and other children read, taking part in paired reading with their own and other age groups.
Our reading aims are:
- To develop phonic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately and fluently.
- To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
- To develop vocabulary and comprehension of what has been read.
- To encourage good home/school partnerships.
- To enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
- To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies eg reading age tests, on-going reading observations, assessment against classroom monitor criteria.
- To support those children who require additional help with their reading.
Reading in School
Many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children. As children gain phonic knowledge they start the process of decoding.
Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book with no words with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually as the children's knowledge of letters and sounds develop they begin to phonetically decode words.
Our reading books are organised into coloured book bands .Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next book band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. Children move through the book bands until they reach the required standard to become a Free-Reader, choosing a book to read from our well-stocked school or class libraries. In addition to a personalised reading book children are able to take a book home from the school library.
Developing Reading for Pleasure
We try to encourage a love of reading by holding book themed days and events, both as individual classes and across the whole school as well as taking part in events in the wider community. We recently enjoyed 'Roald Dahl Day' and took part in the library service's ' Summer Reading Challenge'
We have strong links with Wadebridge library and lots of children participate in the summer reading challenge. Reading Clubs take place every week for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Assessment of Reading
Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system. In addition, children in Key Stage 1 are assessed using the Salford reading test to check progress in reading age relative to their chronological age. In KS2, optional SAT reading tests are also used to monitor progress. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.