Early Reading and Phonics
We believe that teaching reading at the very start of a pupil's learning journey should be wrapped up in a world of adventure, excitement and joy that only sharing stories and books together can bring.
Our curriculum is built around high quality texts. We understand the importance of exposing our children to the very best books and stories. Our classrooms are places where books are read, talked about and enjoyed.
This approach begins with our youngest children in foundation stage and key stage one.
In order to support our early adventurers to read for themselves, we use phonics as our prime approach to the teaching of reading. We follow the six phases of the Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics. Phases 1-2 are taught in Foundation 1, Phases 2-4 in Foundation 2, Phases 4-5 in Year 1 and Phase 6 is taught in Year 2.
We also regularly revise Phase 5 phonics in Year 2 for application when reading and spelling to ensure that our children have the very best knowledge and understanding to help them develop these important skills.
Further information about how phonics is taught can be found here.
More about early reading...
Children read decodable texts that are closely aligned to the phonemes and graphemes that they have been taught in class. Books are provided that are closely matched to pupils' growing phonic knowledge so that they can blend to read successfully. We use Collins Big Cat Phonics books to start our children on the road to reading.
Children have opportunities to read every day. This may be through whole class reading, small group reading, independent reading and one to one reading. Opportunities to further develop reading skills and knowledge are also provided across the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key which unlocks the curriculum and so it is vital that all pupils make a good start on their reading journey. In order for children to practise and consolidate their reading skills, we also provide opportunities for reading in our continuous provision.
We place a high priority on getting everyone reading and, because of this, children read regularly with an adult in school. Pupils take home a reading book every night but also take home a 'Recommended Read' book to share at home. We encourage our pupils to change their own reading book when they have read it twice - once to support decoding and once to develop fluency and to deepen their understanding. Practise, practise, practise is the key!
Each year group from Year 1 onwards has a booklet with 50 of the very best books to read for their age. These books are to encourage our children to love reading and to help them to engage with a diverse range of authors, genres and topics. How many have you read together so far?!
Our fabulous 'recommended reads' lists can be found on the year group class pages.
Please have a look at our reading spine below. It sets out the books, poems, rhymes and authors we will meet on our reading journey though school.
In English we teach writing using high quality texts as a stimulus. We have a strong focus on developing vocabulary, using star words in all lessons across the curriculum in order to broaden our vocabulary and deepen our understanding. We consider how authors play with sentence structure, language and words and try to emulate this when we write.
We have mapped out writing across the curriculum where we produce longer pieces of text. These might be recounts, non-chronological reports or hybrid texts to stretch and challenge our older pupils. We write to inform, entertain, persuade and discuss following the work of Michael Tidd.
Writing in Key Stage One
In Key Stage One we focus on securing sentence construction, building stamina to chunk sentences up into whole texts. We work hard to support our pupils to apply their phonics knowledge to spell with increasing accuracy.
We provide opportunities for pupils to practise and apply their writing skills throughout our provision. All classrooms have dedicated writing centres filled all the with resources budding writers need, as well as writing opportunities offered in all areas.
Gareth Baker - Patron of Reading
We welcomed Gareth Baker, a local author, to the Priestsic family on Monday 16th May. He will be working with children over the next couple of years to help to foster a life-long love of reading. He spent the day in classes across the school sharing stories and top tips for becoming a writer. The children had a fantastic day!