We place huge emphasis on the teaching of reading, as it really holds the key to success throughout a child’s school years and future life prospects. Essential components of learning to read fluently are the acquisition of a rich vocabulary and the ability to understand the meaning of a text; the development of speaking, listening and comprehension skills is given prominence across the curriculum.
This is the principal method used for teaching the decoding skills required for reading. In synthetic phonics the individual sounds of a word are broken down or segmented, then blended to decode or spell the word. For example, the word cat would be broken down into 3 sounds: “c-a-t.”
Phonics is taught daily in Reception and Yrs 1-2, whilst in Yr 3 and Yr 4 a programme of phonics, spelling and grammar is timetabled at least 3 times weekly. The schemes used are: Letters and Sounds, supplemented where appropriate by Direct Phonics, Fast Phonics First and Jolly Phonics and resources devised by our own creative staff. Letters and Sounds has 6 phases and children work through these phases at their own pace during their time with us. Phase 1 begins in pre-school and Phase 6 generally continues throughout primary years.
Reading in class
Guided Reading small group teaching sessions take place at least once weekly and more often in KS1. Children also have opportunities to read in whole class and individual contexts on a daily basis. Individual reading takes place with teachers, teaching assistants or volunteers.
Assessment and Interventions
Children’s progress in reading and writing is monitored closely with ongoing assessment, so that no child “slips through the net”. The school utilises a range of literacy interventions for those children who require additional support. These include Catch Up, Acceleread/Write, PASS, Early Literacy Support and Fischer Family Trust Wave 3. Our staff posses a wealth of qualifications and experience in delivering interventions, whether one- to- one or in small groups.
The main reading scheme used in the school is The Oxford Reading Tree, including Project X and Floppy’s Phonics. This is supplemented by a range of other schemes, including Rigby Stars and Big Cat Phonics.
Using and Applying
The school ensures that children have as many opportunities as possible to use and apply their literacy skills across the curriculum in a variety of contexts. This is an important aspect of preparing for next steps in education as well as life in the real world.
Information for parents
Every year a workshop is held by staff to give parents advice on how to support their child with reading at home. A leaflet with top tips and recommended reads is sent home in the summer term.