Reading and phonics
How we teach phonics at Plumpton
At Plumpton we believe phonics is crucial in children learning to read and write. We teach phonics in both discreet lessons and throughout the whole curriculum. Every class has a dedicated phonics/spelling lesson every day for 20 minutes. All teachers and teaching assistants are involved in the teaching of phonics and children grouped across the school according to the phase they are working in. Year 1 have a Phonics Fun week in June to prepare for the phonics screening. As children progress up the school the focus becomes more on spelling but phonics is still constantly reinforced. We use a number of schemes including Letters and Sounds. We have an interactive programme, Phonics Bug, which all teachers use. All children have access to the Phonics Play website which they are encouraged to use at home as part of their home learning. The children are taught the letter sounds, letter names and tricky words in a multi-sensory way through different games and activities. All teachers and teaching assistants have received training in the teaching of phonics. This approach has hugely increased the percentage of pupils reaching the required level to pass the Year 1 phonics screening (88% in 2013/14).
How we teach reading at Plumpton
Reading is a strong focus throughout the whole school. Alongside teaching children to read, we believe reading for comprehension is of equal importance. We use a variety of strategies to teach reading, which include encouraging the children to use picture clues, phonics and contextual clues. A rich variety of books are available throughout the school, for example, picture books, big books, storybooks, poetry and non-fiction books. Each class has a library area and children in Key Stage 2 choose their book from these. In the EYFS and Key Stage 1 we have a banded reading system with books from a wide range of reading schemes. These range from books with very simple text for beginner readers up to chapter books for children as they become more accomplished readers.
Guided reading is timetabled every day in every class. In these sessions children get the opportunity to discuss texts with their teacher / teaching assistant on a rota basis and this is where skills of reading, appropriate to the level of the child, are specifically taught. Reading journals are used to record book focused activities carried out out in guided reading sessions.
Each child will have a home/school reading record book for parents to record the books they have read at home with their child. The staff will read these regularly and respond to any comments written in them.
Children learn to read through gaining many skills. Early reading skills of turning the pages and talking about the pictures are crucial stages in reading and time needs to be taken. Remembering and being able to talk about a story or information are key skills in developing reading. Any time spent reading to your child or listening to your child read is extremely beneficial.
In the Reception and Key Stage 1, children should spend several nights with the same book to encourage exploration, enjoyment and confidence.
As skills progress children will then start to change books more regularly. However, as book length increases several nights might still need to be taken.