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Reading and Phonics

How We Teach Reading at St. Peter’s

At St. Peter’s we believe that learning to read is one of the most important things your child will achieve at our school. A positive first experience of reading can shape a child’s love of books and help to develop every aspect of their learning, so we put enormous effort into making every child a reader as quickly as possible. Throughout their time at St Peter’s, children are exposed to a wide range of engaging and diverse texts, through shared, guided and independent reading, giving them solid foundations for starting secondary school.

For a selection of books that are recommended for primary aged children, go to this site:http://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/

In Nursery, children learn to:

Listen to and recognise a range of stories and poems.
Show simple awareness of rhyme and alliteration.
Suggest how a story might end and describe story settings and characters.
Look at books independently, handle them with care and turn pages correctly.
Know that print carries meaning and words are read from left to right and top to bottom in English.

In Reception children learn to:

‘Read’ the sounds in words and practice writing these sounds.
Use phonics knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.
Follow the Letters and Sounds programme.
Practise reading and spelling ‘tricky words’ (words that cannot be sounded out are learnt by sight.), such as: ‘once’, ‘have’, ‘said’ and ‘where’.
Show simple understanding when talking to others about what they have read.
Practise reading books that match the phonics phases they are learning by blending and reading ‘tricky’ words.
Read the 45 high frequency words (HFW).

Key Stage One and beyond:

Children continue to complete the Letters and Sounds programme up until the end of Year 2. Some older children will continue to consolidate further in small groups or one-to-one where necessary, as they progress through the school.Each pupil has an individual reading programme from Reception class onwards. This follows the Oxford Reading Tree and is supplemented by Phonics based or banded book sets. Once each child has completed the Oxford Reading Tree and banded book programme, and we feel that their understanding is as good as their decoding, children will become free readers. Book choices are encouraged and monitored, where appropriate, by class teachers and teaching assistants.

Guided Reading

We deliver Guided Reading sessions across Key Stage One and Two, where children are grouped with others of a similar reading level to complete a variety of activities during the week. Activities include a teacher guided group and four other tasks or activities relating to the children’s assessment focuses.

Tracking and Progress

Class teachers assess children’s reading skills regularly so that we can ensure they are making good progress in both decoding words and understanding the text. Children who are exceeding their targets are encouraged to choose challenging and diverse reading material, with differentiated work to stretch them. Any children who are not making good progress will have additional support/intervention. Our school librarian also works with targeted book club groups to provide additional support/challenge.

Reading for Pleasure

We firmly believe that reading for pleasure is as important as learning good reading strategies; so we work hard to maintain and promote our inviting school library, where children can: borrow books, audio books (with personal CD players), seek advice from our librarian, join book clubs and creative writing clubs or train to become a student librarian.

Parental Support

As part of the home/school agreement our pupils are expected to read regularly at home with parental support. They are encouraged by a yearly reading award scheme for which they earn points for reading at home, collecting stamps and raffles tickets to win prizes. Once a week Nursery, Reception and Year 1 parents are invited to a reading morning – where they can enjoy a reading session in class with their child. The school also delivers workshops for parents on ‘Phonics at Home’ and ‘Developing Your Child’s Reading’ in Key Stage One and Two.

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