Reading and Writing
Teaching of Phonics and Decoding Text
Children are taught to decode text by building up their knowledge of phonics, use of phonics to breakdown words, and through recognition of known/tricky words. This is planned based on the Letters and Sounds programme, which is taught from Reception to Year 2. Phonics lessons are pacey and interactive, building on previous knowledge and skills. To start with, children learn a set of sounds (or phonemes) and then how to use these to decode words. They read real words and nonsense words (pseudo words) and practise blending sounds. To build up reading stamina and to practise sight vocabulary, children have opportunities to read short phrases. Over time children learn all the phonemes in English and the different ways they may be written (graphemes).
From Year 2, further work on the use of phonics to develop spelling and reading strategies is planned based on the Support for Spelling programme. Children are taught how to recognise all the grapheme options for each phoneme. They also look closely at the way verbs and root words are changed to form new words.
Ongoing assessments enable teachers to identify children who require additional support. This information also informs future planning. Children who are unable to make effective use of the skills covered in whole class work, receive additional support in small groups using the Sound Discovery programme.
To practise the use of these reading skills, children read regularly to an adult. From Reception to Year 2 this is individually with a teacher or teaching assistant. Children continue to read individually regularly to a member of staff until they are confident readers. Volunteers listen to older children read.
All our reading books for younger children are levelled so that books can be chosen carefully, based on the phonics knowledge and skills of the children. The reading book stock contains a range of reading schemes, but is mostly Oxford Reading Tree and Collins.
When children become more confident readers they are encouraged to read a wide range of texts. All our reading book stock, including guided reading books is levelled so that we can offer all children more specific guidance when selecting reading books.
From Year 2, children work with an adult to develop comprehension skills, through Guided Reading. Working in a small group with the class teacher, children are taught how to find out information from the text, think carefully about the language used and understand the subtle meanings within a story. Where possible, texts are chosen to support topic work. Teachers keep a record of the skills that children are able to use and use this to plan guided reading work.
Further information about the teaching of reading can be found in the phonics and reading booklets below.