Reading and Phonics
In nursery, phonics teaching focuses on Phase One of Letters and Sounds which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the further phonic work. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
As many children move to their final term in nursery they are taught to say the sounds of letters with the help of mnemonics, to blend the sounds into words and read simple ‘blending books’. This gives them a flying start before going into the Reception class. This is the beginning of Read Write inc - the phonics scheme which is followed through the rest of Key Stage One.
As part of the Read Write inc programme, children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
The children are then able to use their learnt sounds to spell (encode) words and apply this to their writing. Often words and sentences are built phonetically by using the sounds they are familiar with in order to convey their meaning.
In addition to the books children access in Read Write inc, they also have reading books matched to their reading ability which are from Oxford Reading Tree (or one of our supplementary schemes) and a reading book of their own choice from the school library. The children read these books in school and at home.
We also endeavour to promote a love of reading across our school and curriculum. We do this by providing plenty of opportunities for children to engage with and reflect on a range of texts. This is done:
- within the classroom
- through visits to our impressive school library
- by reading weekly with our local reading volunteers and peer mentors
- by inviting published authors in to interact with our children
- through text led enriching ‘mini adventures’ in line with our school’s pedagogical approach
- at least one whole school mini adventure based on a rich and stimulating text
- celebrating World Book Day