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 early on in their Early Years Journey and throughout Key Stage One. We follow the National phonics programme, ‘Letters and Sounds’, as a primary source of planning and a basis for our teaching where 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 (digraphs) or three (trigraphs). The teaching of phonics is of high priority to all teachers as it enables pupils to decode for reading and encode for spelling.
We use various resources to support the children’s development in phonics including Jolly phonics, LCP planning, TTS resourcing.
We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, speaking and listening, songs, rhymes and practical activities. 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.
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.