Phonics and Reading
At Roger de Clare First School and Nursery we strive to inspire and engage pupils with reading as we see it as a key skill that will underpin all learning throughout their lives. We value supporting children move from learning to read to reading to learn.
At Roger de Clare First School and Nursery in Reception, Key Stage 1 and those that need it in KS2, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. We use the DFES document 'Letters and Sounds' as our principle guide for the planning and teaching of phonics across the school. Teachers are further supported by 'Phonics Bug', Phonics Play and Twinkl resources. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds for reading, and how to segment sounds to spell and to write words. In the Early Years reading books are matched to phonics phases. There are daily phonics sessions in EYFS, KS1 (and KS2 as required).
Pupils are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught how to read high frequency and common exception words which do not completely follow phonics rules.
Phonics is taught through six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge previously learnt. Pupils have lots of time and opportunities to practise and expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are the words that have unusual spelling patterns and do not follow the phonics patterns and rules.
As a school, we are moving towards whole class guided reading, further supported by group activities that allow children of different abilities to access a more challenging text with adult support. This text is designed to introduce them to new vocabulary and develop their strategies for decoding new words. We also work with them on developing their retrieval of information and inference as well as discussing choices that the author might make.
As pupils confidence with phonics increases, our reading scheme follows a colour banding system which takes account of the pupil's ability to decode and comprehend the text.
We ask all children to read regularly at home (5 times per week) and for this to be recorded in their reading records. When reading, it is important to focus on comprehension of text as much as the decoding. The books that children bring home should be ones that they are able to decode and read with ease, thus developing their fluency. If you have any questions or concerns, you are always welcome to speak to your class teacher.