Phonics and Reading
Phonics and Read Write Inc
Phonics is the systematic teaching of the sounds, or 'phonemes', that accompany the written letters ('graphemes') in English. It is designed to teach children to become confident and fluent readers by the end of Year 2. At St John’s we use the “Read Write Inc” programme to teach phonics in daily structured lessons throughout EYFS and Key Stage One. Each child learns how to 'read' the sounds in words and how these sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn how to spell well. We teach children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call 'tricky words', such as 'once' and 'said'. They practise reading with books that match their phonics and the 'tricky words' they know. They start believing in themselves as successful readers and this does wonders for their confidence.
Year 1 Phonics Screening
At the end of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment to make sure that children have learnt phonics to an appropriate standard. There are 40 words in the screening check which children are asked to read on a one-to-one basis with their teacher. The check is made up of 'real words' (eg. 'mud') and 'nonsense’ or ‘alien’ words (eg. 'splog') and children need to apply their phonic knowledge to read all words. Due to the national lockdown in 2020, children in year 1 did not take this test in the summer term, so they will be doing so in the autumn term of year 2. Preparation for the check takes place during the daily phonics lesson, but you can help your child at home by practising phonics on a regular basis.
EYFS and KS1
Children will read their Read Write Inc books as part of their daily lesson. Once they have finished studying this book in class, they will bring it home to read. Re-reading these books is vital in developing their confidence and fluency, enabling them to develop their comprehension and read with expression. They will also be given a “Book Bag Book” which applies the most recent phonemes they have been taught as well as revisiting other phonemes. We also encourage children to read a range of books to develop their love of reading. Children may chose books that are beyond their current level of phonic knowledge and these can be read with an adult for support. A list of suggested books for reading with your child can be found here.
Reading in KS2
In KS2 children take part in a whole class Destination Reader session. Destination Reader focuses on everyone reading from the same text with the teacher modelling excellence. Reading in this way allows children to access literature that may be above their level of reading. The children engage in rich discussion with quality teacher questioning which encourages detailed answers with textual evidence. Classes also receive daily reading of a whole class story and the older children are encouraged to read independently for pleasure.