At St Peter’s, we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading and writing.
Our phonics teaching begins in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they may discover.
At St Peter’s, we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
At St Peter’s, the key objective in our phonics, reading and writing lessons are that children are taught to:
- Develop of love of books and enjoy listening to stories, rhymes and poems
- Read and write letter-sound correspondence quickly
- Decode effortlessly, spell and form letters easily
- Comprehend what they have read
- Read with fluency and expression
- Write confidently using oral rehearsal
- Work effectively with a partner or within a group to articulate their learning at every stage
In June, Year 1 children are formally assessed using an unseen Government phonic screening test. This test is undertaken also by Year 2 children who did not achieve the required standard when tested in Year 1. The results of these tests are reported to Parents/Carers.
Reading Information for parents
Your child's reading experience is much more than the reading book which comes home from school. Reading is happening all the time in a classroom and in the school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but children are practising and using their 'reading' constantly across all subjects too.
Parents can support this 'reading journey' through regular reading at home. Reading to and with your child every evening for at least ten minutes can make a dramatic difference to a child's achievement within school. A report from the Oxford University Press highlighted the importance of parents reading with their children. 'Children who read outside of class are 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age'.
The report also offers six tips for reading with your child at home, including:
1. Make time to read- even ten minutes a day
2. Choose different types of books
3. Take turns to read
4. Talk about the book- asking your child questions
5. Pay attention to the language6. Enjoy reading
Supporting your child's reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
In Preschool and F1, your child will bring home a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ book that the adult will read to their child on a weekly basis.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, there are TWO types of books your children may bring home.
Phonetically Decodable Book: this has been carefully matched to your child's phonetic ability and will match what they are currently learning in their phonics lessons. If your child is reading it with little help, please do not worry that it's too easy - your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise - celebrate their success! If they can't read a word, encourage them to use their phonics skills. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
A Reading for Pleasure Book: In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong learner, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn't expect them to read this on their own. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for characters, explore the facts in the non-fiction books. The main thing is you have fun together!
In Key Stage 2: Your child will bring home a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ book that has been carefully chosen alongside the teacher. This book will come home on a Friday to be returned on a Monday. We encourage parents to listen to their child read over the weekend. Again, we want our children to foster a love of reading. Like above, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for characters, explore the facts in the non-fiction books. Once again, the main thing is you have fun together!
WE ASK THAT PARENTS SIGN/COMMENT IN THEIR READING JOURNALS THAT ARE IN THE BOOK BAGS. TEACHERS AND OTHER ADULTS WILL ALSO WRITE IN THESE WHEN THEY HAVE HEARD A CHILD READ THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.
Looking for book recommendations? If you've enjoyed a particular series or author and are ready to branch out, check the Branching Out booklists below - they're free and printable. From Harry Potter and Tom Gates to Rainbow Magic and The Worst Witch.
These lists have been created by Book for Topics. Have a look at their other really useful recommendations elsewhere on the website.