Phonics and Developing Reading Statement

Teaching of Phonics and Reading Statement

Our Aims:

At Priory CE Primary School we believe that reading is a skill which is best taught through planned, systematic phonics lessons. This leads to the enjoyment of all kinds of books, the appreciation of different genres and the ability to access information independently. Through their own reading, we hope that children will develop their individual tastes in literature and be able to understand and justify their own choice of books.

Our primary aims are:

  • To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading fluently.
  • To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading.
  • To promote and encourage good home/school links using a wide range of literature.
  • To equip children with the critical tools they need to be able to analyse what they read.
  • To give children access to a wide range of fiction and information books.
  • To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies e.g. Phonics assessment, Benchmark Reading tests, on-going guided reading observations.
  • To support those who are progressing slowly in acquiring reading skills through a personalised reading program.

Our Approach:

At Priory C of E School we follow the Letters and Sounds approach to teaching Phonics, supplemented with additional resources such as Bug Club. Our approach is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible.

Phonics sessions take place daily throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1, with transition in Year 3 as needed.

Pupils are taught in ability groups within their year group. This enables them to be taught according to their phonics/reading level. Teaching is very precise and tailored to the needs of each child.

The alphabetic code is taught first with children learning new sounds and practising pronouncing and blending these sounds on a daily basis. Simple mnemonics help the children grasp the letter sounds quickly. Following this we match the sounds pupils know to the books they read encouraging confidence as well as a number of other skills such as using initial sounds to identify more difficult words. Additionally children hear and learn lots of stories in school which helps to increase their story knowledge and vocabulary.

In the summer term of Year 1 our children take part in the National Phonics Screening Test. Where our children pass this test, they move onto learning spelling rules within Spelling Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) in Year 2. Where our children do not pass the phonics screening test or where we have any concerns about their progress or development in reading or any other area of learning, then specific reading and phonics interventions are implemented to help to raise their attainment. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator and English Coordinator are available to support staff in which interventions are most appropriate to support our children.

Guided reading sessions take place throughout the school. These sessions are where targeted teaching takes place. They are conducted in small groups and are planned according to the stage of reading each child in the group is at. There is a focus on book etiquette and early reading skills as well as encouraging the children to understand what they have read through planned, quality inferential questioning. The emphasis on inferential questioning increases as the reading level of the child progresses. Our guided reading resources are made up of books from Rigby Stars, reading related to topic work and texts to reinforce learning during English lessons e.g. if pupils are studying non-chronological reports in English, then their guided reading materials may be non-chronological reports, to deepen pupils understanding.

Home- school reading books are a mixture of phonetically decodable books and books to encourage high frequency words. Decodable books are used first to encourage segmenting and blending skills. Once children have gained confidence, in this area they access books containing more high frequency words. Children are able to change their reading book each day should they wish to do so and are encouraged to change their book after each guided/1-1 session if they are less willing to change it themselves.

Various ‘Curriculum Evenings’ are held throughout the year to offer support and to provide information for parents regarding the ways they can support their child’s reading. If you would like more information about reading and phonics at Priory, please do not hesitate to contact the Early Reading and Phonics Leader, Mrs Woolliscroft, or our English Leader, Mrs Cunliffe, via the school email address or telephone.

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