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Reading and Phonics

Our approach to Reading and Phonics

Creating confident and enthusiastic readers has long been a central part of our school's ethos of ensuring children secure their skills in the core subjects. We have daily dedicated reading time across the school, every day.  In all classes, on at least three days of the week, the children end the day with story time.  To encourage regular home reading, which is crucial in helping children build accuracy, fluency and a love of reading, we send home a Reading Record, and provide parents with information on how to support at our Autumn term meetings on How to help your child with Reading, Spelling and Maths.  We are also fortunate to have adult volunteers who come in to hear children read on a 1:1 basis, which is something we really value.

We use a phonics first approach to learning to read the words on the page. Children in EYFS and Key Stage One have daily phonics (Reception and Y1) or daily spelling lessons (Y2),  following the progress of sounds in the Letters and Sounds scheme. They are encouraged to apply their growing knowledge during their child-initiated learning and at other points of time in the day.

The percentage of children in our Y1 cohort who meet the expected pass threshold in the Year One Phonics screen has been consistently well above the national average. The few children who do not attain a 'pass' in the Year One phonics screen are given additional support to enable them to make rapid progress durung Year Two.  Where children enter Key Stage Two with a weakness in phonics, they are also given additional focused support.

At Key Stage Two, we have three dedicated spelling sessions per week, after lunch. The children use and apply their knowledge of phonics and spelling rules when investigating and learning new words and their meanings. We use the updated Westover Spelling scheme, which is mapped to the spelling and grammar requirements of the new national curriculum, as the main framework of our spelling work, supplemented by focused sessions on personal spellings, 'group target' spellings, and project/subject words.

All children in EYFS and Key Stage One have phonically regular reading books, as well as a general reading book (story, poetry or non-fiction). We use phonic reading books from these schemes:  Oxford Songbirds, Floppy Phonics, Read Write Inc, and  Ginn Rigby.

We have a good stock of non-phonic readers in all classes, including Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Heinemann.  We also have Guided Reading sets from Oxford (Project X), Ginn (Lighthouse/Lightning) and Rigby.

Our book stock is book-banded up to Lime level, allowing children to read from books pitched at an appropriate level of demand. Once children are secure in their ability to read more demanding texts accurately and show good levels of comprehension of what they are reading, they are supported in choosing books from class and library stock. We encourage all children to read a wide range of authors and genre.

Please see the Classes page for information about how to support your child with their learning, including guidance on Phonics, Reading and Spelling.