READING BOOKS, PHONICS AND SPELLING from Nursery to Year 2
Phonics and spelling
In the Nursery we teach early reading skills by focusing on developing children's speaking and listening skills. The activities we carry out help to develop children's awareness of rhyme and alliteration and to listen carefully to words and sounds in words. We use the Phase One activities from the Letters and Sounds teaching programme as the basis for our planning. Information about these activities and information about how to help your child at home is shared at the "Getting Ready for Reading"workshop which we hold in the Autumn term. (See the "Parents' Workshops" page in the "Parents" section of the website.)
We encourage a love of books by providing a rich range of texts for the children to share with staff and peers and to access individually. These cover a wide range of genres including fiction, non fiction, poems and rhymes.
Once they have settled in the children visit the school library each week to choose a book to take home and return the following week.
Children start to learn about writing by staff drawing their attention to text in a variety of contexts - in books, on signs in the classroom and around the school and during local walks. Resources such as telephone directories, menus and shopping lists are included in the role play area to provide further opportunites for children to access text and to encourage them to attempt their own writing.
Children are encouraged to begin to recognise and attempt to write their names. Children's names are written on their coat pegs and name cards are used for self registration and at the snack table. A range of mark making materials are readily available indoors and outdoors to promote writing opportunities too.
Reception, Year One and Year Two
Once children have had plenty of opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills and tune into sounds, they have a daily multisensory phonics lesson. These lessons relate to Phase 2 upwards of the Letters and Sounds teaching programme and we use the "Jolly Phonics" pictures and actions to help children to remember the letter/s, (grapheme), and the corresponding sound, (phoneme). During these lessons the children are also taught to read on sight words which are commonly used - or "high frequency words".
Once they have started Phase Two our Reception children start to bring home phonic activities and games. These are sent home in little plastic wallets and include grapheme cards and/ or word cards and instructions.
As they enter Year One the children begin to be given weekly spelling lists linked to the particular Letters and Sounds Phase they are working at. Additional spellings relating to a topic or theme may also be added. The children have a spelling test in school each week. This continues through Year Two.
To find out about the Letters and Sounds teaching programme and how we use phonics to support children's reading and writing please come along to our Letters and Sounds Workshops.
The Department of Education recommends that children should be introduced to independent reading once they have a "good grasp of the alphabetical code" - in other words once we have given them the basic tools to do the job. With this in mind, we generally start to introduce children to reading books from published schemes once they have started Phase Three of the Letters and Sounds teaching programme. By this time they will be able to build simple words using their phonic knowledge and read a few simple words on sight.
The level of difficulty of each reading book is indicated by a coloured tab on the spine - we refer to these as "Book Bands". The teachers and teaching assistants carry out guided reading sessions each week with small groups of children who are reading at the same level of Book Band. To determine whether a child is ready to move onto the next level we use a reading assessment pack called a "Benchmarking Kit". This helps us to check whether the books being offered are at an appropriate level of difficulty for the child.
We have recently introduced a quiet reading time for our Year One and Year Two classes at the start of every afternoon. In addition to this, some children benefit from additional reading opportunities in school and staff and school volunteers help to ensure these opportunities are offered.
We have spent the last 3 years updating the reading materials available in school, including an investment of over £7000 on new reading books. All our old reading books used to teach reading in school have now been replaced with a broad range of quality texts which cover a wide range of genres. We are now moving on to updating all of the reading books used for further practice at home.
Further information on our reading schemes is given at the Letters and Sounds workshops where parents and carers also have the opportunity to see the range of books on offer.
The reading schemes we use in school include "Bug Club" and "Rigby Star".
In addition to the books we now provide access to additional titles and literacy games on the Bug Club webpages. Each child has their own unique log in and the class teachers select additional titles for pupils to access online at the appropriate level. The feedback from pupils and their parents so far has been fantastic.
The online texts also have word games and comprehension activities with them.
Miss Graham's Book Club
Miss Graham runs a Book Club for our most advanced Year Two readers. Children from both our Year Two classes are selected for the club and the club meets every few weeks. The children take it in turn to choose a text for the group and multiple copies are purchased so that everyone has their own copy to read at school and home. The children all have a notebook to record the things that have caught their interest to discuss at the meeting.
As with all book clubs drinks and cakes are also available!
World Book Day for Book Club!
If you require any further information regarding your child's reading or any other related information, please ask to speak to your child's class teacher.