The teaching of phonics is an integral part of the curriculum in both the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Daily sessions of phonics are delivered to the children from very beginning of their Early Years Journey and throughout Key Stage One. We follow The Sounds-Write reading programme. This is a highly structured, multi-sensory, incremental and code-oriented, instructional approach to teaching children to read and spell.
At the start of the programme, simple, one sound/one spelling, one-syllable, CVC words only are introduced. As the programme progresses, the complexity of one-syllable words is increased to four-, five- and six-sound words of the structure CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC/CCCVCC, before introducing the most common consonant digraphs. As they progress through Key Stage 1, pupils learn systematically how words are spelled in English. This ability to express oneself in writing from the start of school gives children enormous confidence, which naturally feeds back into the other kinds of learning taking place within the school curriculum.
Thereafter, from Y1 onwards, all the remaining common vowel and consonant sound to spelling correspondences are taught until all the common spellings for the forty-four sounds in English have been covered. In parallel with this, pupils are taught how to read and spell polysyllabic words, progressing from two-syllable to five- and six-syllable words.
Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities.
Alongside the teaching of Phonics, children have access to a language rich environment where they are able to apply their decoding skills and develop language comprehension in order to ‘read’.
The programme of study for reading at key stage one and two consists of two dimensions:
• Word Reading
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school. At this point the children access a variety of reading schemes which promote both key word recognition and phonic skills, some of the reading schemes we use are: Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy Phonics, Follifoot Farm, Rigby Star, Wellington Square and Read, Write inc.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. Guided reading sessions are delivered in each class twice a week and we will soon be developing new and exciting whole class reading techniques within Key Stage 1 to help prepare children for the rigor of reading aloud in Key Stage 2
All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.