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'Education for life in its fullness'

How do we teach Reading?

We have a wide variety of books, which provide a structured approach to reading throughout the school. The wide range of graded reading material within the school is mainly Oxford Reading Tree which is supported by other graded schemes and well-stocked fiction and non-fiction for free readers both within the classroom and in the library.

Early reading begins with picture books (Lilac band) where the children are encouraged to use the picture clues to orally retell before words are introduced. Pink banded books introduce words that are both phonetic where the children can sound out and common exception words which are words that cannot be phonetically sounded out but need to be learnt. Early reading is supported with the classroom by one to one reading with an adult, class teaching lessons and phonic sessions.

Book Colours Picture

As a child’s reading progresses from early reading they begin to move though the reading scheme at their own pace and developmental understanding. The reading scheme book bands are structured  to  encourage children to read for longer periods of time and begin to ask and answer questions about what they have read and what they have understood. The phonics scheme used in school is Read Write Inc which incorporates a reading element of the session with comprehension questions and discussion as well as discussing new words and their meanings.

As the children become more confident readers they participate in group reading sessions where they can enjoy stories poems and non-fiction, often linked to the topic areas. The books are used to teach specific reading skills and enable the children to develop language and ideas for their own writing.  In addition to this, teachers regularly read to the children just for pleasure and enjoyment to foster a love of reading. The school’s overall objective is to nurturer a love of reading and for each child to become a fluent and confident reader.

How do we teach Phonics?

At St Mary’s, we believe that Language is fundamental to all aspects of children’s home and school life. It is a subject in its own right but is also a key ingredient for gaining access to the whole school curriculum. Communication, both oral and written, is the key to educational progress. Through our literacy teaching, we aim to develop children's competence as listeners, talkers, readers and writers so that they can live, work and succeed in a literate world. All the skills of language enable children to participate fully as a member of society.

Our programme of phonics and word-recognition development begins as part of our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.  In Reception phonics are initially taught through letters and sounds, using the Read Write Inc. resources and materials to  support pupils in decoding and segmenting unfamiliar words; enabling them to comprehend what they read, read with fluency and expression and to begin to write with confidence.

We held a parents meeting in January 2019 to explain how we teach children the Phonics at St Mary's.  Please click on the document below to see a copy of the presentation given at this meeting.  Please do not hesitate to contact your child's class teacher should you have any questions or concerns.

Phonics 1Phonics 2
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