Reading is a vital skill that supports children’s learning across the whole curriculum.
At Bowburn Primary School, reading is promoted as an intrinsic part of teaching and learning.
The ability to read is not only the key to learning but it also has a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
As a school, we will ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding through a variety of discreet and cross-curricular learning opportunities.
Above all, we want children in our school to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.
We want our children to fall in love with reading so that it brings them pleasure and allows them to experience new things, discover new worlds and explore the emotions of others.
In EYFS and Key Stage One, the children are taught to read and write following the ‘Little Wandle’ programme of study. This programme teaches children to decode (break down) words into their smallest units of sound (phonemes) systematically.
Our phonics curriculum takes children through five Phases, with children typically moving through Phase 1 in Nursery, Phases 2-4 during Reception, and then onto Phase 5 in Year 1.
With lots of repetition and weekly development of skills, we find that we are able to really build confidence and challenge children at an appropriate level.
The focus is on listening and making sounds with mouths and bodies—e.g. environmental sounds, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and early letter recognition.
Each week, children learn single letters and their corresponding sounds in a useful order (e.g. SATPIN) so that they can begin to blend and segment short words.
Phase 3 introduces digraphs and some trigraphs (where two or three letters make one sound, e.g. ai, oa, sh,ear, air). Skills in blending and segmenting are further developed.
This phase is an opportunity to recap all Phase 2/3 sounds in a range of contexts. Children begin to read and write 2-syllable words and words where two sounds are close together (e.g. s-l-i-p / p-l-ay / f-r-igh-t).
Tackles the complexities of spelling in English and teaches children to explore alternative spellings and pronunciations for all sounds (e.g. all different spellings of /ay/). They will learn how to apply a ‘best bet’ rule (e.g. /oi/ in the middle, /oy/ at the end) and will begin reading and talking about suffixes.
For further information and videos on how we teach phonics, follow the link to the Little Wandle parents page https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
We use Little Wandle to enhance our phonic teaching and to ensure that our early readers are reading fully decodable books, matching their phonic ability.
Supporting your child with reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:
A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.
A sharing book. Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.
Reading practice book
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.
Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.
Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!
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