Children in Foundation Stage start to learn letter sounds (phonemes) using ‘Jolly Phonics’ songs and actions. Our daily phonics sessions in Foundation Stage are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.
We also use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. The children learn how to say the sound (phoneme) for each letter and groups of letters like sh, ch, igh (digraphs and trigraphs). They learn to hear and say the sounds in words like c-a-t by pulling them apart (segmenting) and putting them back together (blending). Some words, that cannot be easily decoded, are learnt as ‘tricky words’ such as ‘come’ and ‘the’. These skills are then applied to learning to spell and to write sentences.
We use a combination of reading schemes and the books are banded using a colour system. These include Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s Phonics, Fireflies, Project X, Lighthouse, Big Cat, Spotty Zebra and PM Starters. These give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 the children progress through book bands according to the level of their reading. We have daily guided reading sessions where the books are at an instructional level. Reading records are used as an important means of communicating between parents and teachers about a child’s progress in reading. We ask that parents listen to their children read at home and also read to their children. We encourage parents to come into school and listen to children read. There is a strong emphasis on ‘Letters and Sounds’ and reading is also taught through our small group letters and sounds sessions. These sessions are at least four times per week.