Our Approach to Reading and Phonics
At Sandling School, we recognise reading as a vital life skill and the aim for all our pupils is to foster a love of reading. We encourage the children to read a diverse range of books by a wide variety of authors. Focus texts in class are also from a wide range of authors and cover a wide range of genres.
We seek to develop a strong reading culture through planned activities which promote reading as a positive experience. Each class has a reading area with a variety of books, added to this we have a school library which is constantly growing. There is a Librarian who comes into school from Monday – Thursday between the hours of 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock who helps the children to choose books and develop their love of reading.
Through enrichment times such as Book Week, children enjoy a variety of book related fun activities focussing on learning more about well-known books or authors and sometimes dressing up as their favourite book character.
In school we teach phonics through the Little Wandle scheme in years R - 2. Children will bring home a matched reading book every week to the phonics they are learning and expected to read it at home at least three times a week. They can also take home a book from the reading corner to share. All children have a reading record which they are encouraged to fill in at least 3 times a week in order to share their reading experiences with their teachers.
When children start school, it is crucial that they develop phonic skills that allow them to, precisely and accurately, say the sound which each letter, or group of letters, makes. Thus, the teaching of phonics is a high priority for all teachers, as it enables pupils to “blend” for reading and “segment” for spelling. Children have daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practice and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.
In school, children read with an adult regularly. How this is done depends upon the age and ability of the child. The types of reading include individual reading, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading, as appropriate for the child, text and learning objectives. In Key Stage 2, whole class reading sessions are based around a quality text or, when looking at non-fiction, a theme based on the topic being covered in class. Reading sessions are based on teaching the different reading skills (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summary).
Throughout Key Stage 1 the children are encouraged to form an interest in and take pleasure from, a variety of text types. They are how to decode words, with an emphasis on phonological knowledge and word building skills. All children are encouraged to express their opinions about the books they read, giving reasons for their answers and indicate their comprehension of texts through adult questioning , group discussion. and written responses.
Children learn best when home and school work together. Parents are encouraged to hear their children read regularly at home. Parents and children can spend time enjoying a book together; not simply decoding words but discussing the text and checking a child’s understanding. This will enhance the child’s love of reading and improve their own writing too.