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Our approach to reading and phonics

Our Approach to Reading

The teaching of reading is central to the English curriculum for all pupils at New Siblands School. High quality picture books are key to the medium-term English planning for pupils across all key stages. Role play and sensory experiences related to texts develop reading skills and foster an enjoyment of reading. Reading is assessed as part of our assessment cycle using formative assessment.

Pupils have regular timetabled reading lessons which are tailored to support their individual needs. Many pupils take part in regular, structured phonics lessons based on the Letters and Sounds programme. Some pupils benefit from a whole word reading approach this is supported by the See and Learn programme. Our reading schemes contain resources for readers using both phonics and whole word recognition.

For some of our pupils, reading is about developing a wider understanding of the meaning of photographs and objects.

At New Siblands School we use a range of reading schemes, books and materials to provide our pupils with relevant, motivating resources.

Our Approach to Phonics

We use the Letters and Sounds programme to structure our phonics teaching. Our approach is also resourced by Jolly Phonics. Pupils have regular discrete phonics sessions.

Pupils learn the range of graphemes (letters or groups of letters) that symbolise the 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language.  Pupils use actions to help remember the sounds.  Pupils learn how to use these phonemes to blend together the sounds to read a word and how to segment a word into the phonemes in order to spell it. Pupils are consistently monitored and moved forward when necessary.

Phase 1

  • Focus on speaking and listening

Phase 2

  •     The start of systematic phonics work. Introduction of phoneme                              (sound)/grapheme (what it looks like) correspondence. Teaching of blending to     read/segmenting to spell as reversible processes. Teach 19 letters of the          alphabet.

Phase 3

  • Completes teaching of the alphabet – children move on to sounds represented by more than 1 letter. (All letter sounds must be secure to do this.) Pupils begin to write phonetic approximations.

Phase 4

  • Pupils learn to read and spell words with adjacent consonants.

Phase 5

  • Awareness that most phonemes can be spelled in more than one way/most graphemes can represent more than one phoneme.

Phase 6

  •  Reading should become automatic. Focus on word specific spelling and broad guidelines for making choices between spelling alternatives.