Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1 and KS2 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Letters and Sound programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by Floppy Phonics, Rapid Phonics, Quick Fix phonics, Education City, Espresso and other computer games.
Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
Phases of the Phonics Programme
Children in Nursery begin with Phase 1 which provides a range of listening activities through play, to develop their listening skills. Progress is tracked at the end of each term. As children move into Reception they continue to build upon the listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught writing the letters to encode words. Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one grapheme (spelling) is given for each phoneme. When children become secure they continue into Phase 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase. It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they begin year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. It is expected that children entering Year 2 will start Phase 6 which develops a variety of spelling strategies including homophones (word specific spellings) eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual grapheme-phoneme correspondences eg laughs, two.
The school spelling programs complement the phonics learning from Reception through to the end of KS2. The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. Children are formally assessed at the end of each term.
The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. Prior to this, the Year 1 phonics workshop gives parents information about how they can support their children at home with phonics. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional support. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics.
At Hadrian Primary School children will learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading.
Children read in school independently, in guided groups, with reading buddies, and as a shared class session. They listen to adults and other children read, taking part in paired reading with their own and other age groups.
Our Reading aims are:
Reading in School
Many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children. Children are introduced to helicopter stories allowing them to orally compose a story which is acted out by themselves and their peers.
Initially, as children learn to read, they are given a picture book with no words with the intention that they will share the book and take part in a conversation generated by the pictures. Gradually as the children's knowledge of letters and sounds develop they begin to phonetically decode words.
The first books given are Dandelion Readers, which are fully phonetically decodable. Our reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands. Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book Band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. We use Bug Club to support reading both at school and at home. Children move through the Book Bands until they reach the required standard to become a Free-Reader, choosing a book to read from our well-stocked school or class libraries. In addition to a personalised reading book children are able to take a book home from the school library. In KS2 there is a greater emphasis on comprehension with most children decoding easily.
Developing Reading for Pleasure
We try to encourage a love of reading by holding book themed days and events both as individual classes and across the whole school eg World Book Day. DEAR time (drop everything and read) engages the children with reading at the end of each day. We have strong links with South Shields library and all children are encouraged to participate in the summer reading challenge as well as having workshops and trips throughout the year. Reading assemblies take place regularly, introducing children to a variety of literature. Book Fairs are held to allow all children the chance to look at new books of all genres and hopefully purchase a new book of their own to take home!
Our well-stocked school library promotes authors and a range of reading material to appeal to all pupils. Children's suggestions for new books are encouraged and purchased.
Assessment of Reading
Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system. In addition, children in the Infants are assessed using the Salford reading test to check progress in reading age relative to their chronological age. In some KS2 year groups, Reading Plus is used to monitor progress. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.