Reading & Phonics
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At Keyingham Primary School we believe that reading is one of the most powerful tools of learning both in and out of school.
Children who read often and widely get better at it – practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.
Reading exercises our brain – reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.
Reading improves concentration – children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If the read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.
Reading teaches children about the world around them – through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.
Reading improves vocabulary and language skills – children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.
Reading develops a child’s imagination –as we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.
Reading helps children to develop empathy – as children develop they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.
Reading is a fun – a book or an e-reader doesn’t take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.
Reading is a great way to spend time together – reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.
Children who read achieve better in school – reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.
At Keyingham Primary School, we aim to develop a love and appreciation of reading which will stay with children for life. We hope to achieve this through careful planning and teaching using up-to-date strategies. We aim to use good reading materials and resources within Literacy lessons and Guided Reading sessions and to provide a breadth and range of reading material in school.
We have a range of reading books that have been combined to make our reading scheme. The scheme includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry books which are carefully selected to match reading levels and interests. These books are graded by difficulty using reading levels known as Book Bands. Each Book Band has its own colour matched to a reading age and a year group, as guidance for teachers.
Children can change their home reader as often as they want. We recommend that children read with an adult daily for at least 10 – 15 minutes and we ask parents to fill in their reading diary when reading with their child at home. This can be a school book or any book they have at home. Every class organises a reading reward for children who read regularly at home.
Alongside our home reading system, we also have ‘Class Readers’ for each year group. The ‘Class Reader’ books are aimed at the end of year expectations for each year group and include a selection of books at a more challenging level. It is intended that these books are either for the children to read independently or for an adult to read to them, developing children’s vocabulary, reading comprehension and understanding of stories.
Home Reading Booklet for Parents
Reading Booklet for parents How to help your child with reading
Since January guided reading has undergone some changes with Y2 – Y6 taking part in whole class reading lessons. These lessons focus on a book each term or half term and enable a greater levels of discussion about what the children are reading and have a greater focus on exploring the vocabulary used along with their understanding of these words.
Children focus on a range of different skills that are needed for them to be able to discuss, explore and answer questions linked to the texts they have read.
Whole Class Guided Reading : Parents Booklet
Reading VIPERS are a vital part of our new reading lessons and parents can use these to help when they are reading with their child at home by using the question stems in the documents below:
KS1 Reading VIPERS
KS2 Reading VIPERS
Julia Donaldson’s top reading tips
Julia Donaldson has written some of the most popular and best-loved children’s stories including The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, Room on the Broom, The Highway Rat, Zog and Stick Man.
She is also the author of the popular phonic Songbirds series, part of Oxford Reading Tree published by Oxford University Press.
Watch these videos of Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson talking about some simple and fun ways you can help your child with their reading at home. Guaranteed to make reading fun and help your child develop a love of reading.
- Julia Donaldson’s top tips
- Tip 1: Sharing stories with your child
- Tip 2: Enjoying rhyming stories
- Tip 3: Acting out stories together
- Tip 4: Reading lots of different things with your child
- Tip 5: Visiting your local library
- Tip 6: Working with your child’s school
- Tip 7: Playing games of all kinds
Phonics is taught explicitly in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and where necessary in Key Stage Two. It is taught each day for 20 minutes in a separate session to the Literacy lesson as well as being embedded across the curriculum allowing the opportunity to regularly reinforce the skills learnt. Children are taught in groups linked to the stages within their year group to allow for focused and targeted teaching. It is taught in a fun way but also with high expectations and pace.
Below is a glossary of words that teachers use when planning and describing phonics. Children also enjoy learning the technical words for the different sounds and letter groups.
Phonics Glossary for Parents
In Foundation Stage 1 phonics is taught using ‘Letters and Sounds’ with children working on Phase 1 and the beginning of Phase 2. When the children move into Foundation Stage 2 ‘Sounds Write’ along with ‘Jolly Phonics’ is used to teach phonics. In Foundation Stage children progress from talking about and exploring sounds, through to understanding what graphemes and phonemes are. Pupils learn about GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences), consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs. Children develop knowledge of how to blend and segment the phonemes within words, including those with adjacent consonants.
In KS1 the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme is used with the majority of children working on Phase 5 by the end of Year 1 and Phase 6 by the end of Year 2. Within phase 5, pupils progress to learning about split digraphs, alternative pronunciations of the same grapheme, and alternative representations of the same phoneme. Phase 6 concentrates on developing spelling rules and enhance reading strategies.
The reading and spelling of high frequency words are taught throughout the academic year, as part of phonic development, along with how to spell tricky words which may not fit conventional spelling rules.
First 100 High Frequency Words
Next 200 High Frequency Words
Our booklet for parents gives an overview of how we teach phonics and activities that parents can do at home to support their children.
Phonics Booklet for Foundation stage
Phonics for KS1: Part A
Phonics for KS1: Part B
Phonics for KS1: Part C
Hear the sounds
There are a large number of apps available, both for free and at a small cost. Such as:
• Mr Thorne does Phonics (various at £1.49 – £2.99)
• Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds (free)
• ABC Pocket Phonics (free)
• Twinkl phonics (various free up to £4.99)
• Read with Phonics (free)
• Spelling Shed (£2.99)
Phonics Screening Check
Each June, all children in Year 1 and any children in Year 2 that did not meet the standard in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before. The results are reported to parents with reports at the end of the school year.
It will check that your child can:
- Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words e.g. n-igh-t
- Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
- Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as ‘pseudo words’
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Keyingham Primary School
Tel number: 01964 622319
Fax number: 01964 624276
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin Contact Name: Mrs P Moat (School Business Manager)
SENDCO Contact Name: Mr T Adams
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