Reading and Phonics

13 Mar 2018

Reading & Phonics   

‘Once you learn to read you will be forever free’

At Kirkby Malzeard we support and encourage all of our children to enjoy reading from the day they join us. A love of reading is such a gift in life and is the root of all learningWe work closely with and value the support of parents, carers and families in developing reading at home.

Reading in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Children are taught Phonics every day in a focussed session and have opportunities for independent investigation in the areas of continuous provision. Small targeted groups ensure effective teaching and progression of skills. We follow the Letters and Sounds document and also Jolly Phonics using phonics, songs, actions and jingles to support our teaching. Resources are available for parents and carers to support learning at home and these include information leaflets and phonic learning rings.

How do we teach Phonics?

Each phoneme is taught using an action, a song and a picture clue. The children are taught phonics each day and quickly build up enough phonic knowledge to start reading simple words.  We teach the children to segment and blend words for reading and writing. Phonic lessons include recapping phonemes already learnt, introducing new phonemes and playing games involving the reading and writing of words and sentences using these phonemes.

Reading for pleasure and knowledge is at the heart of our EYFS classroom. The reading area is welcoming, comfortable and provides a range of books for children to look at independently and with friends or adults. We have books linked to every area of continuous provision both fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We have story shelves, baskets of poetry, magazines, our own books – all set out in the reading area and in our outdoor learning spaces. The classroom has labelled signs in a variety of text and font for children to look at, read and use. At different times of the day the class get together to listen to stories, poems and rhymes. Children often use books, magazines and reading materials in their independent role play.

Initially children are given a wordless picture book from our growing collection of books; these are given to challenge children’s visual literacy skills, storytelling, communication and language beyond their reading level.  Books with words are sent home once the children have mastered the basic phonemes and blends. We use a range of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and Rigby Star and the children move through banded books which they also take home. All children have a reading record which is an ongoing dialogue between teachers, parents and children.

Reading in Key Stage 1

In KS1 reading continues to have a high priority and the children access quality books and literature in all areas of learning to develop their reading skills further. Children continue to receive daily phonics sessions in small groups to ensure effective learning and progression of skills.  No Nonsense Spelling is used daily with Year 2 children; these sessions enable pupils to learn spelling patterns and rules which they apply to their reading.

Children take part in guided reading sessions. We use a wide variety of published resources which provide high quality reading experiences. Children share stories daily in class.  Our parents are involved with reading and we have parent and grandparent helpers who come into school to listen to individual children read, this is a special time for children to share their reading with different people. Our reading area is welcoming and provides a range of opportunities for children to read independently – challenging themselves and fostering a love of reading. Pupils also enjoy regular reading with their reading buddy and they support the reading ambassadors in their class in sharing and inspiring a love of reading across the school.

Reading in KS2

Our Reading Ethos
In KS2 we build upon the wonderful learning achieved in Early Years and KS1.  We believe in the importance of developing word-reading skills and comprehension alongside embedding a love of books and reading.  At Kirkby we realise how much these elements grow and enhance one another and use them to enable our children to become life-long readers.  Reading and books sit at the heart of our KS2 curriculum and our pupils have access to challenging and exciting texts.  Pupils are encouraged to view reading as a passport to the world – they appreciate that reading great literature opens the door to ideas, places and experiences.  Children are prepared for a technological society through access to a range of texts on IPads and e-books.  KS2 children are reading ambassadors for our school and encourage a love of reading with our younger children.
Reading Opportunities in KS2

Reading is taught on a daily basis through a range of strategies.  Writing and reading activities are closely linked to enable children to clearly see the connection.  Reading opportunities are found in across the curriculum.
Pupils follow the school reading scheme until they are fluent, confident and independent.  They are then given the opportunity to select their own books with guidance from their class teacher. 
This year KS2 have embraced whole-class guided reading which has been a great success.

Our pupils…
  • celebrate and value reading
  • read for pleasure
  • have access to and read a wide range and variety of texts
  • participate in whole-class guided reading
  • write book reviews and recommend books to one another
  • have the opportunity to attend book clubs
  • read 1-1 with their reading buddy, teaching staff and volunteers
  • link reading to other areas of the curriculum
  • develop vocabulary and presentation skills through texts
  • enjoy listening to stories, non-fiction, plays and poetry
  • are ambassadors for reading
Home Reading in KS2
Why is reading so important?
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.

In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. 

In KS2 we encourage our children to read at home every day.  We set regular challenges to motivate pupils and children work collectively to achieve their class targets.

We encourage families to read with their child as much as possible – it really does have a huge impact on every child’s learning. 
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