Phonics and Reading
Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.
At Hardingstone Academy we are determined that every child will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. Being able to read is key to accessing the entire school curriculum.
Our children follow the Read Write Inc phonics programme as they start their reading journey.
What is phonics?
Phonics involves teaching the children to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; to identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and to blend letter sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Phonics is introduced to the children from the start of their time in Reception. It is taught daily so that the children can build up and practise the skills they need to use in reading and writing.
Daily phonic lessons continue in KS1. The sequence of the phonic content in the programme is followed consistently. Progress is tracked regularly by the reading leader and ‘catch up’ interventions introduced where necessary to support those who are not making the expected progress. Year 1 children take part in a statutory ‘phonics screening check’ in June.
From year 2 onwards, the children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses.
Throughout the academy, we use a broad range of high quality, vocabulary rich texts to encourage the children to develop a love of reading and writing, as well as learning the skills they need to communicate effectively. Our rationale for choosing books is based on six-point criteria:
Even when your child can read independently, it is still important to read with them on a regular basis while they continue developing their reading skills, vocabulary, and stamina. We encourage the children to:
- Look at and talk about the front cover.
- Read the blurb on the back so they have an idea of what the story is about.
- Discuss the title and the words it contains.
- Predict what the story might be about.
- Look for clues in the pictures.
- Look for familiar words or sounds.