APPROACHES TO PHONICS AND SPELLING
To enable children to:
• Understand the alphabetic code and spell accurately in order to communicate effectively and independently in writing.
• Understand the conventions of English spelling in order to be able to decode and read text independently, accurately and fluently.
• Be creative and use ambitious vocabulary.
• Proof read their work accurately.
Despite the age of electronic literacy, children still need to express themselves quickly and accurately on paper. The ability to be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill and one that society demands.
Teaching and Learning
Through the daily teaching of synthetic phonics in early reading development in Early Years Foundation Stage, pupils are taught a balanced program which develops understanding of the skills in segmenting phonemes for spelling and blending them for reading. Towards the end of Year 1 and throughout Year 2 this phonics learning leads into teaching and learning of spelling, which continues throughout KS2.
Spelling conventions are taught. Children are grouped according to ability for spelling. Homework is provided along with opportunities for practice throughout the week. A small and manageable number of individual spelling errors are highlighted through marking across the curriculum. Children who experience specific difficulties in learning to spell receive extra support as appropriate, either in class with a TA, one to one, or using intervention programmes such as ‘ Units of Sound’.
Literacy targets are set so children know their next step in writing. Writing levels are shared with children in KS2 and they are involved in writing their own targets which reflect their next step.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children entering school in nursery and reception will have already had a wide range of experiences in literacy and we value and build upon these individual experiences using role play, writing areas, the outdoor area and book corners to develop these skills. The Early learning goals for Communication, Language and Literacy underpins all work in this area.
By the end of the Reception year most children will be able to:
• Listen with enjoyment to stories, song, music and poems and to make up their own.
• Speak clearly and audibly with confidence and control showing an awareness of the listener.
• Interact with others, negotiating plans and activities.
• Use literacy skills readily in their play and independent learning.
• Enjoy an increasing range of books.
• Read a range of familiar and common words and simple sentences independently.
• Read on sight the 45 reception high frequency words.
• Show an understanding of the elements of stories such as main character, sequence of events and how information can be found in non fiction texts.
• Use phonic knowledge to read and write simple CVC words and to make plausible attempts at more complex words.
• Attempt writing for different purposes and to begin to form simple sentences, sometimes using punctuation.
• Hold a pencil correctly and to use it effectively to form recognisable letters most of which are formed correctly.
APPROACHES TO READING
To enable children to:
• Develop positive attitudes towards reading and read for purpose and pleasure.
• Use reading skills as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum.
• Read and respond to a variety of texts whilst gaining increased level of fluency, accuracy, independence and understanding.
• Develop different strategies for approaching reading and be able to orchestrate the full range of strategies.
Pupils have access to a wide range of reading opportunities that include:
• Shared reading
• Guided reading
• Regular independent reading
• Home/school reading
• Hearing books read aloud on a regular basis
• Selecting own choice of texts including ICT texts
• Reading whole texts
• Reading in other subjects including ICT texts
• Reading in the community (assemblies, school productions, the local library)
The Primary Framework of Literacy provides a detailed basis for implementing the statutory requirements for reading. Much of the Program of Study will be taught in Literacy lessons, particularly during shared and guided reading sessions. Additional time is provided on a regular basis for reading at other times. There is time set aside for independent reading, using the library, listening to whole class stories and research linked to other subjects.
The Rose Review recommendations for the teaching of phonics and early reading are implemented in full.
Teaching and Learning
Teachers promote and value reading as an enjoyable activity and also as a life skill. The Primary Strategy provides the framework for the teaching of reading. Progression in reading starts with the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, in the context of a broad and rich Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which celebrates reading for pleasure. It proactively develops children's speaking and listening skills and language development. As pupils develop reading fluency throughout KS1, teachers teach a broad range of comprehension strategies which allow pupils to engage with text in a variety of ways to suit different learning styles.
In shared reading the teacher models the reading process to the whole class as an expert reader providing a high level of support. Teaching objectives are pre-planned and sessions are characterised by explicit teaching of specific reading strategies, oral response and collaboration. Texts are rich and challenging, beyond the current reading ability of the majority of the class, and are linked to the unit of work under current study.
Guided reading is the key strategy and vehicle for the explicit and direct, differentiated teaching of reading comprehension. In guided reading, texts are chosen to match the ability of the group but still provide an element of challenge. Teachers use the NYCC planning grids when planning guided reading sessions. All children have a minimum of one guided reading session per week during a designated reading session.
Teachers plan for independent reading activities during sessions of Literacy teaching and during the ‘basic skills ‘sessions. Texts are selected so that pupils can access them without support. The focus for the reading is to provide practice, to develop personal response to texts and crucially, reading for pleasure. Many other opportunities are provided for pupils to practise and extend reading in other subjects. Pupils select texts under the guidance of the teacher for independent and home/school reading. Teachers monitor independent reading and discuss progress with individual pupils on a regular basis. Where pupils are working below age appropriate objectives a reading program will identify additional opportunities to read with an adult.
Reading at home is regarded as an important part of reading development. Children and parents are encouraged to respond to the books they are reading at home using reading diaries. Teachers also use these to report to parents on the performance of their child’s reading in both guided and independent reading sessions.
Jolly Phonics, Phonics International and Letters and Sounds
Real books, Rigby Star, Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn 360, Flying Boot, Jelly and Bean, Ginn Lightning