Phonics and Reading
At Weeton St Michael’s we have daily phonics or spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons for all of the children (20 minutes daily). We teach phonics in the phases outlined in the ‘Letter and Sounds’ document and the children are grouped according to their ability. Children learn letter sounds through a multi-sensory approach, encouraging children to use actions and talk to learn the sounds; in the early stages the Jolly Phonics scheme is used as an introduction. Children learning to recognise, sound out and spell and read words and letter patterns through fun, engaging activities. Initially, children learn letter families on a weekly basis and this is supplemented with a phonics book that they take home to practise. In class phonics teaching and learning is also enhanced by well planned, independent activities to support children’s skills to practise blending, sounding out and segmenting in order to help develop their individual reading skills. Children are assessed on a regularly basis in order to monitor their progress through the different phases of phonics. At the end of Year 1 children complete a government statutory phonics screening test to demonstrate their attainment of an expected level of phonic awareness.
As the children progress and complete the phonic phase teaching they move on to learn spelling patterns and common exception words through No Nonsense Spelling . This scheme teaches spelling in a ‘Little-but-often’ structure which allows children to revisit and review, learn new strategies and apply. A variety of strategies are suggested so that children with different learning styles can find out what works well for them.
Children are taught to read through structured and cumulative daily phonics teaching. We have guided reading groups where children start by practising early sounding out and key word recognition skills and develop an understanding of different text types and comprehension skills. These groups are organised according to individual ability and reading confidence and they supplement shared reading sessions. The books are organised and progress according to National Curriculum reading levels and include a broad and balanced range of text types. This practice carries on throughout Key Stage 2.
In Key Stage 1, home reading involves children progressing through a range of books, levelled using book bands, that match the progression of phonic skills and ability. Children practise key and tricky word sets by flashcards that they take home to practise. In Key Stage 2 children continue to progress through the levelled books matched to their individual reading ability. All children have access to a class or school library of books that they can borrow as part of their reading practise at home and in school.
Useful websites for Parents and Children
Hope you find the following websites useful to help your child with their learning.
www.oxfordowl.co.uk (Good website for free books online and tablet friendly)
www.jollylearning.co.uk (Useful website to find out about how we teach phonics and letter sounds in school)
www.bbclearning.co.uk (Useful website to search educational games and activities.)
www.topmarks.co.uk (Good website for educational advice, information and activities to support learning)
A collection of nursery songs from the Early Learning series Listen and Play and Playtime, both of which are currently available on i-player and as podcasts.
Suggested books for children, advice on how to read with your child, book lists, fun games, competitions to win free books, Children’s Book Club etc.
Words for Life is created by the National Literacy Trust, funded by Kindred², the Department for Education, and supported by UK publishers. It provides parents, children and young people with activities and support to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home.
A useful website featuring free resources for KS1 (and the option of subscribing)