Reading and Phonics

Introduction to the teaching and learning of Phonics and reading.

Your child will learn to read at school using a synthetic phonics approach. It is important to note that as well as learning the names of the letters of the alphabet, children need to know the sounds (phonemes) the letters make in words. This is the basis of a phonetic approach. As children become more confident they will begin to use two or more letters to represent one sound (diagraphs). So please don’t worry if we appear to be jumping around the alphabet!

Here at Slaley we have been using a mixture of ‘Letterland’ and 'Anima Phonics' Most children actively engage in the fun activities and multi-sensory way in which we teach it, and quickly realise they blend some letters (phonemes) to read simple words within a few weeks of starting school. Early success gives our children the confidence to have a go at reading for themselves and gain pleasure from this new world they are entering for the first time. Daily phonics teaching begins in reception and continues until the children are completely confident in this area.

The reading schemes we use to support our phonics teaching are Dandelion readers and Oxford Reading Tree in Early Years which lead onto Read, Write, Inc (at Key Stage 1), supplemented with a variety of graded books to add interest, challenge and diversity to our children’s reading. Throughout the school our children are encouraged to make the most of opportunities to read independently for personal pleasure.

In addition, we are keen to develop reading for pleasure and are currently developing a new library with a diverse selection of books.To encourage reading for pleasure, the children take ‘share books’ home. These are for parents to read with, and to, the children as we value this as much as the children reading to parents.

Links between home and school are very important and we expect the children to read at least three times a week at home. Much of the focused teaching of reading is done in school through ‘Guided Reading’ where children are supported to read in small groups.