At St Matthew’s C of E Primary & Nursery Academy, we believe that being able to read is one of the most important skills children will learn during their early schooling and has far-reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well-being. With this in mind, we put a huge amount of time and resources in to supporting every child to be able to read.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7.
Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia.
Our school uses the Letters and Sounds Document to deliver a planned approach to phonics.
In all year groups, including Foundation Stage, children are grouped according to ongoing assessment information for phonics . This ensures that the teaching is challenging and meets the needs of all learners.
We do not use a particular scheme to support the Letters and Sounds however we have adapted and personalised different schemes and programmes in order to raise standards and personalise learning so that all our children achieve their full potential.
In Foundation and Key Stage 1, all children will have daily phonics lesson followed up by activities, in school and at home, that support and embed their learning of the previously taught sounds. In Foundation and Year 1 children will be heard read at least twice a week by the teacher and by the teaching assistant. Comments about reading will be made in a child’s Reading Record book. This book should come to school daily. Each child will have 2 colour banded books to read each week and 4 colour banded books to read over holiday periods. Parents are encouraged to hear their child read every day if possible and to write in their reading record books. Children will be rewarded with certificates as they move through the colour banded books.
For children in KS2 that require additional phonics support, additional interventions will be put into place led by an experienced teaching assistant.
Support for parents
The you tube link below is a useful video for parents
In September we will offer parents a ‘ How to support your child to read’ workshop . Children will also bring home prompt cards to support parents to ask questions about the book their child is reading. Parents may also wish to subscribe to phonicsplay , a useful interactive resource we use in school.