At St. Michael’s RC Primary School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through phonics, children learn to blend sounds to read words and segment words to support their spelling ability. The teaching of phonics is of high priority.
At St. Michael’s RC Primary School we use the Department of Education approved document ‘Letters and Sounds’ for our teaching of phonics. This is then supplemented with resources from Jolly Phonics, Read Write Inc and Phonics Play to ensure a wide and varied phonics curriculum that responds to the needs of our children.
Children are grouped due to their phonics knowledge and skills to ensure that they receive the appropriate level of phonics teaching. Children are assessed each half term to monitor progress and ensure that they are in the correct phonics group. In Reception the children continue to build on their listening skills learnt in Nursery settings and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonics work. They have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they revise previous learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt. Through Letters and Sounds, the children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more. Children work through the different phases and as they grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound. Close home-school links are formed to support the continuous teaching of phonics and children receive sound books and phonics packs to support their reading at home. In Year 1 and Year 2, spellings each week are linked with the sounds learnt that week in phonics sessions to support the children in making stronger links and developing their understanding and application of new sounds. Any children who do not meet the pass rate for the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2 or who struggle to read with fluency will receive daily phonics intervention and support in KS2 to plug the gaps in their phonics knowledge and skills and support them to become fluent readers. At St. Michael’s school we use phonics books from a range of schemes that are matched to the sounds that the children already know to help their fluency.
Our daily phonics sessions are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. Click here to see a non-specific example of our phonics planning format. This will then be adapted to suit the needs and level of the children in each phonics group.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. Children in KS2 who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y2 or who struggle to read fluently are monitored and tracked throughout KS2 and their daily phonics sessions are tailored to their needs.
Click here to see our Phonics progression document for an outline of how we use Letters and Sounds across EYFS and KS1.
In Year 2 and towards the end of Year 1, reading is also taught through through whole class guided reading and reading comprehension lessons.
Please read our leaflet to parents about listening to children read below:
Key Stage Two
The teaching of reading in Key Stage Two is taught through whole class guided reading and reading comprehension lessons.
We read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts with the children during these sessions and engage in tasks where the children develop their word reading, knowledge of vocabulary and language features, and their comprehension skills.
Those children who require further support with their phonics knowledge and word reading in KS2 take part in a daily phonics group. There are also ‘booster reading’ sessions and reading interventions across Key Stage Two to support children who require additional provision.
Children’s reading books are matched to their reading ability and are changed regularly, as and when the children need to do so.
Reading takes place across the curriculum, so the children are exposed to a wide range of texts, which they read and use for different purposes. Teachers also find opportunities throughout the week to read to children and develop their love of reading.
In St Michael’s School we believe in exposing our children to a wide range of vocabulary. We do this in all of our subjects and each classroom has a vocabulary wall where the key vocabulary and new vocabulary are added to for the children to use and refer to. Our reasoning for this is to help children when reading new texts and when answering questions about a text. By increasing our children’s vocabulary we feel that this will improve their understanding of a text as they will have a wider knowledge of the meaning of words.
Please have a look at the vocabulary your child will be learning this year in their class.
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