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Reading and Phonics

We believe that reading is a valuable and rewarding experience and that laying a firm foundation in this crucial area will allow children to access all areas of the curriculum successfully. We believe that success in reading opens doors to a world of knowledge. As reading is a complex skill with many components, Hardy Mill Primary School has a comprehensive and consistent approach to the teaching of these skills throughout the school. At Hardy Mill, we aim to promote a love of reading as well as ensuring our children become skilled and fluent readers. 

Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

To support the development of reading, all children in the Early Years Foundation stage and in Key Stage 1 follow a systematic synthetic phonics programme using ‘Letters and Sounds’. The teaching of phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully through a fun and interactive programme.  Children learn how to break words down into sounds and blend them together to make words so that they can read. 

Children progress through the phonics phases during their time in Early Years and Key Stage 1, methodically building on prior learning until they reach the end of Phase 5.  Children are taught to apply their phonics knowledge to help them with their reading and spelling.

  • Phase 1 phonics starts in Nursery and focuses on speaking and listening.
  • Phase 2 and 3 are taught in Reception with a focus on single sounds and the first set of digraphs and trigraphs.
  • Phase 4 and 5 are taught in Year 1 and focuses on multi syllable words and alternate sounds to those taught in reception.
  • In Year 2, children consolidate and further develop their phonic skills.

Children are grouped according to the phonics phase they are working at and take part in a daily phonics session each morning which is tailored to their learning needs.  During the sessions children will:

  • Hear and say the sounds that each individual letter makes – phoneme.
  • Learn that sounds are represented by written letters – grapheme.
  • Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make e.g. ‘sh’ or ‘igh’ –digraph/trigraph
  • Blend these sounds together, left to right, to make words e.g. sh-o-p blended together makes shop.
  • Segment e.g. ‘team’ has three phonemes /t/ea/m.
  • Learn to read tricky words that can’t be sounded out e.g. said, by, my.
  • De-code new words by applying phonics and reading comprehension skills.
  • Play lots of fun games that encourage development of reading and writing skills through the application of phonics.

Through guided, shared and independent reading activities, children will have much opportunity to apply their phonic knowledge, giving them the confidence to read with understanding, fluency and accuracy, thus achieving the capabilities of an independent reader.

Bug Club

All children accessing the reading scheme in school have access to Bug Club. Bug Club supplements our phonics and reading scheme and allows children to access high-quality e-books at an appropriate level online at home. It also provides pupils with the opportunity to apply their reading skills through interactive comprehension questions. The children earn coins for correct answers, which they can ‘spend’ in the child-friend ‘Bug Club World’.

 

 

 

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, the children have a home reading book which they can choose themselves from a selection within their own reading level. These are brought into school daily and a reading record is sent home. The children are encouraged to respond to their own reading in their reading record through completing reciprocal reading tasks. When children reach a certain stage in their reading, and finish the reading book bands scheme, usually in year 5 or 6, they then become free readers and are able to choose from a wide range of books in their class or school library. Children in Key Stage 2 are encouraged to read a wide range of books and genres.

Bug Club

All children accessing the reading scheme in school have access to Bug Club. Bug Club supplements our phonics and reading scheme and allows children to access high-quality e-books at an appropriate level online at home. It also provides pupils with the opportunity to apply their reading skills through interactive comprehension questions. The children earn coins for correct answers, which they can ‘spend’ in the child-friend ‘Bug Club World’.

Reading Activities

EY

Throughout the week, the children experience a range of reading activities such as listening to and talking about stories and individual and guided reading sessions. During the sessions the children are given the opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills, apply their phonic knowledge and ‘read’ for pleasure in the reading corner.

 

KS1

Throughout the week, each child will experience a range of reading activities during their guided reading sessions. During the sessions, children are provided with the opportunity to practise and apply a range of reading skills through a carousel of activities. Activities include; group reading and discussion, reading skills activities, application challenges and time to ‘read for pleasure’ in the reading corner.

 

KS2

Throughout the week every child will experience a range of reading activities during their reading sessions. Year 3 children take part in a guided reading session with the class teacher/TA each day where a carousel of activities is organised to ensure they have opportunity to practise reading and comprehension skills as directed and modelled by the teacher.  Year 4, 5 and 6 children take part in a 30 minute whole class reading session each day.  As part of these sessions, the children read a class text and complete differentiated comprehension activities.  In addition, teachers and/or TAs read with targeted children on a 1:1 basis to ensure any children not reading at the expected standard for their class catch up quickly.

 

Bug Club

All children accessing the reading scheme in school have access to Bug Club. Bug Club supplements our phonics and reading scheme and allows children to access high-quality e-books at an appropriate level online at home. It also provides pupils with the opportunity to apply their reading skills through interactive comprehension questions. The children earn coins for correct answers, which they can ‘spend’ in the child-friend ‘Bug Club World’.

Assessment of Reading

Children in all year groups are continually assessed during their reading sessions and through formal assessments each term. Teachers use these assessments to inform their teaching going forward and support their professional judgement to ensure that children are reading books pitched appropriately for them.

Reading Across the Curriculum

 We encourage children to use their reading skills in every lesson and provide opportunities to do so in all subjects. The School Library Service provides access to many books which support our curriculum topics and allow children to research subjects independently.

Sharing Books

Sharing books is so important! ‘Reading Buddies’ in Year 6 regularly support some of the younger children in school with their reading. Older and younger children share books and these sessions make a big difference to reading confidence of all the children involved.

 

At Hardy Mill we want our children to foster a real love of reading and be exposed to different inspirational authors and texts which they can then use to cultivate their own ideas when developing individual writing styles across a range of genres.  To ensure children experience reading for enjoyment and pleasure, each class has a list of 20 recommended books to read during their time in that year group.  In addition, for KS2, books linked to topics being studied are recommended.

 

We encourage parents, grandparents and carers to read to children and talk about books as often as possible because this isn’t just a lovely time to spend together, it’s also invaluable in developing and extending the vocabulary children can bring to their speaking and listening, reading and writing. Read books to your child, and enjoy – when your child sees you enjoying reading they will feel positive and motivated to do the same. Every time you read with your child you are investing in their future!