Reading and Phonics
Phonics and Early Reading
At Blaby Stokes, we place the highest importance on providing all children with a structured approach to learning to read from their very first days with us. In Reception and Key Stage 1, we use a linguistic phonics programme called Sounds-Write. The children learn the ways that sounds in our language are represented by spellings: the programme closely links reading and writing.
Children, in their daily phonics sessions, are taught conceptual knowledge and skills that enable them to say the sounds and read the words. In Reception, the children learn that:
sounds can be represented by spellings with one letter
that some spellings are written with a double consonant
some spellings are written with two different letters
Once the children are confident with applying this understanding in their reading and spelling, they learn:
a spelling can represent more than one sound
the most common sounds represented by the target spelling
how to manipulate alternative sounds in and out of words
This second phase lasts into year 2, and the skills they learn will continue to be applied in their reading and spelling well beyond this time. Throughout the programme, close links are made between reading and spelling.
Reading at School
We pride ourselves on our strong reading culture. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. Our English lessons are centred around a range of high-quality children’s books. We link spoken language, reading and writing in order that children can become more confident in all areas of the curriculum.
When our children start to read, the books they read independently at school and at home are closely matched to the sounds they are taught to recognise and use, so that they are confidently able to rehearse the skills they have learned. We have spent considerable time re-organising the reading scheme books we have in school to closely match the reading graphemes they can recognise and use in their reading.
Our library is organised into genres so that the children can easily find books that they enjoy reading. Once children are confident, fluent readers (towards the end of Key Stage One and into Key Stage Two) they can choose from a range of literature here. Each classroom also has a reading area and its own stock of books for children to read.
Children have daily opportunities to read and be read to. Over a few days in school the children will read individually, in pairs, in small groups or as a whole class. The reading curriculum focuses on word reading (decoding words) and understanding of texts (comprehension). We teach these skills alongside each other. Opportunities are planned into our lessons for children to discuss what they are reading, share opinions and explore different responses to texts.