At Newick we believe that the secure acquisition of phonics skills in KS1 and early KS2 (and, depending on individual need, beyond into upper KS2) is crucial in children learning to read and write. We base our teaching on the Letters and Sounds programme.
The children are taught the letter sounds, letter names and tricky words in a multi-sensory way. All children receive a whole class daily phonics lesson. Some children may require additional focused phonics to support their level of need and this will be delivered by either the class teacher or teaching assistant.
The Letters and Sounds programme, backed up with ‘Jolly Phonic’ resources, supports the acquisition of phonic skills which in turn supports the development of a reading vocabulary.
Children usually start learning to read by relying on:
- Prior knowledge of the material being used.
- Words remembered from hearing the story read aloud.
- A personal vocabulary of memorable words recognised on sight.
Gradually they begin to add more cueing strategies:
- Use of illustration cues
- Use of context cues Use of context and phonic cues (first initial letter sounds)
Letters and Sounds Programme
- There are six phases to the programme that builds from Preschool through to Year two and beyond if necessary.
- Phase one begins in pre-school and runs alongside all the other phases. Phase one encourages children to hear the sounds around them, rhyme and rhythm, alliteration, oral blending and segmenting.
- Phase two Letters are learned in an order so children can quickly begin to blend to read words. Each phoneme has an action to help them remember and this helps them to pronounce the phoneme correctly. We teach both the sound and letter name but encourage the children to blend using the sounds.
- Phase three – teaches another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme. Children continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation. They apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will also learn letter names and additional tricky words.
- Phase four – the children consolidate knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.
- Phase five – children broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.
- Phase six – during this phase children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
In conjunction with the Letters and Sounds programme teachers follow the guideline for the teaching of spellings as defined in the National Curriculum.
Reading is a strong focus throughout the school. Alongside teaching children to read, we believe reading for comprehension is of equal importance. We use a variety of strategies to teach reading, which include encouraging the children to use picture clues, phonics and contextual clues. A rich variety of books are available throughout the school, for example, picture books, big books, storybooks, poetry and non-fiction books.
All the books in KS1 and lower Key Stage 2 have a colour book banding to support early readers identify the level of text. In addition, book banded ‘real books’ are used for guided reading. All books link to age related expectations.
Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during whole class and individual reading sessions. Each class reads a variety of whole class texts which include classical literature, modern fiction and narrative poetry.
Parental involvement is crucial in developing children’s reading. We involve parents closely in the school’s reading programme, beginning with the taking home of books for adults to read with their child.
Home/School Reading- Each child has a home/ school link reading book. Parents are asked to read with their children regularly and write a comment in the book. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1 classes take home a book from the banded books. These books are changed frequently by the child during school time.
In Key Stage 2 children continue to choose books to take home and read. We also have a selection of banded books appropriate for lower attaining pupils in Years three to six to support appropriate text choices. Children in KS2 are also encouraged to make independent choices with their reading and can choose between fiction and non-fiction books.