We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. Phase 1 concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. 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. In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. Sets of letters are taught in a specific sequence. The pupils learn to blend and segment in order to begin reading and spelling. By the time they reach Phase 3, pupils will already be able to blend and segment words containing the 19 letters taught in Phase 2. During Phase 3, twenty-five new graphemes are introduced (one at a time). By Phase 4, pupils will be able to represent each of the 42 phonemes with a grapheme. They will blend phonemes to read CCVC and CVCC words and segment these words for spelling. They will also be able to read simple two-syllable words. Pupils will be able to read all the tricky words learnt so far and will be able to spell some of them. During Phase 5, pupils are taught new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these graphemes and graphemes they already know. They will begin to learn to choose the appropriate grapheme when spelling. Pupils will be able to automatically decode a large number of words for reading.
Pupils have opportunities to develop their communication, language and literacy skills on a daily basis in both adult-led and child-initiated activities. Pupils receive a daily, discrete 15-minute phonics session through Letters and Sounds (see above). Pupils are given regular opportunities to practise blending and segmenting the 100 high frequency words by sight. Resources, such as the ‘Tricky Word Tree’, ‘Professor Percival’ and ‘Reading Eggs’ are used regularly and pseudo words are introduced when appropriate for pupils to practise their decoding skills. Pupils are introduced to books with words on entry to EYFS. We use books from Oxford Reading Tree specifically to support our phonics teaching. As the pupils become more experienced readers, they are exposed to a wider range of books depending on their needs and interests. Reading books are colour-banded with pupils working their way through the colour system (pink, red, yellow etc.). Children develop at different rates and therefore the teaching staff will assess whether a child is ready to move on to the next colour. Pupils read one to one at least 3 times per week to a member of staff or volunteer and pertinent comments are recorded in reading records. Parents/carers are encouraged to listen to their children read as often as possible. Whole class texts, ranging from mini-books to larger texts, are used to enrich the pupils’ learning and the class teacher reads to the pupils at the end of each school day.
Key Stage 1
Pupils in Year 1 receive a daily, discrete 15-minute phonics session through Letters and Sounds (see above). Real and pseudo words are used in order to provide pupils with opportunities to practise their decoding skills. Phonics sessions are differentiated according to ability and stage of development. At the end of Year 1, pupils are assessed using the phonics screening check. Low Prior Attaining Year 2 pupils receive a daily, discrete 15-minute phonics session. Middle and High Prior Attaining Year 2 pupils receive three 15-minute daily phonics sessions and two independent spelling sessions per week. Year 2 pupils take part in a weekly guided reading session. Resources such as ‘Professor Percival’ and ‘Reading Eggs’ are used to practise spelling and decoding skills. At the end of Year 2, any pupils who did not pass the Year 1 phonics screening check are reassessed. In Key Stage 1, pupils continue to read independent colour-banded books (yellow, blue, green, orange, turquoise, purple etc.) and teaching staff assess whether a child is ready to move on to the next colour. Pupils read one to one at least 2/3 times per week to a member of staff or volunteer and pertinent comments are recorded in reading records. Parents/carers are encouraged to listen to their children read as often as possible. A wide range of whole class texts are used to enrich the pupils’ learning and the class teacher reads to the pupils at the end of each school day.
Key Stage 2
Pupils in Key Stage 2 are targeted for additional phonics and spelling support depending on their stage of development. All pupils take part in daily Comprehension Bug reading sessions; a wide range of texts are used throughout the year which provide opportunities to experience a variety of genres. Workbooks are used to record work and evidence progress. Pupils work in mixed groups, activities are rotated throughout the week and there are opportunities for independent, collaborative and supported work. On days 1 and 2, pupils work independently on a vocabulary task (key words and spellings) and a comprehension task (reading a text and answering questions). On day 3, pupils are supported by an adult (marking and feedback). Feedback and next steps are provided verbally and pupils respond instantly through editing and improving their work. On days 4 and 5, pupils work independently on application tasks (linked to the text). Regardless of ability, pupils are provided with texts appropriate for their year group; this allows them to experience a rich variety of texts whilst developing their comprehension skills. Any pupils who cannot access the text independently will be supported by an adult.
Classrooms contain a range of appropriate texts, dictionaries and thesauruses; other resources, such as Spellodrome, Reading Eggs and IDL, are used by the pupils to practise spelling and decoding skills. Pupils are encouraged to read widely through independent books, class texts and the school library, and they are taught to use their reading skills in order to find information during lessons in all areas of the curriculum, including computing. Throughout Key Stage 2, pupils continue to work their way through the independent colour-banded books until they are ready for free reading. In Year 3/4, pupils read once a week to a member of staff or volunteer and pertinent comments are recorded in reading records. In Year 5/6, pupils are heard to read when appropriate depending on ability. In Key Stage 2, a reading reward scheme is in place which encourages pupils to read daily and update their reading records. Parents/carers are encouraged to listen to their children read as often as possible. Pupils in Key Stage 2 enjoy a daily novel which is read and modelled by the class teacher.
Reading is celebrated throughout the year in many ways. For example:
- Daily class novel/story
- Reading Display in the school hall
- Reading corners in every classroom
- Phonics Working Walls
- Reading Ambassadors – responsible for raising the profile of reading through competitions
- Librarians – responsible for organising the library and promoting its use
- Whole school events such as World Book Day
- Opportunities for paired reading with mixed ages and classes
- Weekly volunteers for each class who listen to pupils read
- Termly storyteller for each class
All members of staff receive appropriate CPD in phonics and reading as outlined in the School Improvement Plan and English Action Plan.