Reading and Phonics
At Holy Trinity Primary School, we believe that English and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
English is at the heart of all children’s learning. English enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. Because English is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development it has an essential role across the curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.
- To promote a shared love and understanding of English;
- To establish an entitlement for all pupils;
- To establish high expectations for teachers and pupils
- To promote continuity and coherence across the school.
Watch the clip below to help with ideas of how you might read a story to your younger child.
We follow the RWI Phonics programme, which teaches the ‘mechanics’ of early reading, all staff within EYFS and KS1 aim to instil an early love of reading and stories in the children from the very beginning of their time at Holy Trinity.
How do we teach Phonics?
At Holy Trinity, we teach reading in many different ways, but our main focus is synthetic phonics. Phonics is an approach to teaching reading that enables a child to identify, blend and segment the individual phonemes or sounds that combine to form words.
The term synthetic phonics refers to the direct, systematic and swift teaching of the phonic code; blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. The materials and resources we use to do this are from the phonics programme Read, Write Inc. The children learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts and rhymes. These sounds enable children to initially blend the sounds together to read. They do this by reading lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out. This is completed within daily phonics sessions.
Pure sounds and blending sounds
In Read, Write Inc. we use pure sounds (‘m’ not ‘muh’ and ‘s’ not ‘suh’) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds in words more easily. Please see the following video clips to support with pure sounds. At school, we use a character called Fred the Frog who helps us with our blending. When we say words in sounds we call it ‘Fred Talk’ eg d-o-g, c-a-t.
Grouping for phonics
In the Spring term of Nursery, children are taught to say the sounds of letters with the help of mnemonics, to blend the sounds into words and read simple ‘blending books’. This gives them a flying start before starting Reception but does not teach the Storybook reading or writing activities.
Children are grouped across Reception and Key Stage One into Read, Write Inc. groups of similar ability. They have a Read, Write Inc. session every day for 45 minutes, practising recall of sounds, learning new sounds and applying the learning to reading, spelling and writing. hose children who are off the programme attend daily Reading VIPERS sessions during this time, focusing on fluency and comprehension. This is organised to support the needs of all children, either through independent reading of the text and completing the related tasks, or within a small teacher-led group. VIPERS texts cover both fiction and non-fiction.
In Key Stage Two, children who still require phonics sessions are on the Read, Write Inc. fresh start programme. Children have this session every day for 45 minutes practising recall of sounds, learning new sounds and applying the learning to reading, spelling and writing.
Year One Phonics Check
In Year One children will complete a Phonics Check. This is a statutory test set by the government and delivered to all children across the United Kingdom in the same week. Children are given 20 words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense words) made up of the 44 sounds children learn within Read, Write Inc. The results of these tests are published nationally and results are shared with parents at the end of the academic year.
Phonics and Reading at home
Your child will receive a Read, Write Inc. phonics book bag book to take home. These books are closely matched to ensure that children’s reading progresses at a steady rate. Your child’s teacher will assess your child’s reading and match their reading books in accordance to this. The books are changed on a Monday and Thursday to match the Read, Write Inc. scheme.
We ask all children across the school to read at home for 10 minutes every night. Your child is supplied with a reading diary to ensure home school links.
If you have any questions about your child’s phonics or reading please do not hesitate to speak your child’s class teacher.
Some useful resources to support your child can be found below:
Children are read to regularly throughout the day and daily storytime sessions with questions give opportunities for further reading and linked play and continuous provision. Children are encouraged to retell a familiar story and make predictions about what may happen next. They are taught to listen for the initial sounds in words and to recognize rhyming words. Children have constant access to a book corner with story books and decodable books of different levels. Flashcards and magnets are available for independent phonics exploration, along with puppets and small world for story-telling and developing their own stories, role plays, etc… Children have the opportunity to vote for stories for story time.
Adults listen to children read regularly and home reading books are changed at least once a week. Reading intervention takes place where required.
Key Stage 2
Teachers work towards independent learning and plan for different working groups. Most of the children follow the spelling scheme aligned to the National Curriculum which teaches specific spelling conventions and rules. Teachers identify child who require additional phonics teaching and learning. Teachers employ a range of generic teaching strategies. Children are encouraged to read for pleasure through regular whole class reading lessons. A range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry are chosen to link with the class adventure. Vipers is taught 3 times a week using which focuses on the comprehension aspect of reading, so children become familiar with a range of questions. This includes: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising.
Children have full access to a lovely library. They are given weekly time slots to change the books. It is used for independent reading and research in the adventure curriculum.
Key Stage 1
In addition to the daily RWI sessions, additional Phonics sessions form part of daily learning. Children focus on real and alien words in preparation for the Phonics screen. Magnets and flashcards support children with independent phonics exploration. Those children who are off the programme attend daily Reading VIPERS sessions during this time, focusing on fluency and comprehension. This is organized to support the needs of all children, either through independent reading of the text and completing the related tasks, or within a small teacher-led group. VIPERS texts cover both fiction and non-fiction.
Twice a week, children also complete a reading comprehension task as part of their morning routine. This is completed as a class, with opportunity for questions, and discussion of vocabulary.
Reading at home
In school, we use Book Bands to ‘grade’ or ‘level’ the Home Reading Books. As a rough guide, children at the end of each year group should be reading at the following levels. As a school, we have asked children to read for just 10 mins every night but, if you can read more than this, there are great benefits for your child.
Reading at Home
We use Oxford Owl at school, but you can also read the free 200 e-books. There is guidance for parents on helping their child to read along with guidance for parents on helping them. Click the image to visit the website.