Phonics & Reading
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters makes particular sounds. Learning these is key for children to become confident, fluent readers and spellers. At Cavendish we follow the Bug Club Programme of teaching which is split into 6 phases that systematically build on skills and knowledge of previous learning.
Children throughout Foundation and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting sounds in words in order to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write ‘tricky words.’ These are words that you cannot sound out and children are taught to remember off by heart.
We are also using phonics sessions to develop vocabulary by ensuring words are given a context and visual aids are provided to promote children using these independently in their own work. Additionally, when we are revisiting sounds, words get progressively more challenging in order to continuously expand our children’s vocabulary and fluency.
In Foundation stage and Key stage one, phonics is encouraged across the entire curriculum. Afternoon sessions provide opportunities for phonics skills to be consolidated and enhanced each day. These are often embedded into the curriculum or incorporated into stand online activities and provision areas.
Your child has a Bug Club account which allows you to access reading books at their book band ability from home. The children will also have books allocated to them which will include recently taught sounds within them. This is a great opportunity for you to help your child consolidate their new learning together.
Key terminology your child will be taught:
Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow).
Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure).
Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter.
Phoneme – a single unit of sound
Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letter that represent a sound.
Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’.)
Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.).
Sound buttons – ways of visually isolating different sounds in a word. We use a dot under letters where one letter makes one sound and a line understand digraphs or trigraphs.
READING AT CAVENDISH PRIMARY SCHOOL
How We Teach Reading
Teaching children to read is one of the most important aspects of every child’s learning.
Children need to be taught the knowledge and skills to become confident and effective readers so that they can read for both pleasure and information.
We want the children in our school to:
- make choices about the sorts of texts they enjoy
- read between the lines and behind the images
- read fluently and with understanding a range of different kinds of reading material, using reading methods that are appropriate to the material and the reading purpose
- use a full range of reading cues (phonics, grammar and context)
- to gain library skills
- to enjoy reading books
- to use reading skills to search for information
At Cavendish Primary School we believe that when home and school work in partnership together pupils can benefit from this support to make more progress reading fluency, confidence and understanding.
Phonics is taught systematically in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2, where needed, in Year 3 through the Phonics Bug programme.
We know that phonic understanding is only part of the process of developing reading and that once children can recognise and pronounce words with growing confidence, that there are additional skills that need to be learnt and practised. These include: summarising stories, clarifying understanding, predicting, skimming & scanning as well as inferring & deducing.
These skills are developed through daily Guided Reading sessions.
Every class will complete a 30-minute whole class guided reading session each day. All children in the class read the same text with guidance from the teacher. Following the shared reading, children are engaged in quality independent or group literacy tasks.
We source books from a range of schemes, choosing the most appropriate texts for the children e.g Oxford Reading Tree.
As the children progress their reading skills they move on to selecting their own reading books to take home. We encourage children to make independent book choices, that we hope will inspire and excite them to engage in reading independently, and read for pleasure in their own leisure time.
We use additional materials to support reading where this is need through interventions such as phonic awareness (teaching children to blend and segment sounds), small group guided reading, one to one pupil: adult sessions and reading comprehension groups. We also use teacher assessment and marking of work to identify areas in which pupils need additional support.
In addition to class-based reading, children can also develop their enjoyment for reading throughout school. They have the opportunity to access the school library to choose from a wider range of books on a weekly basis and children in higher year groups have the opportunity to become library monitors. Every classroom has reading resources which further promote and encourage reading for pleasure.