At Caton Community Primary School, we encourage and provide pupils with opportunities to develop a love for reading from day 1!
We aim to:
- Develop an interest in and a love of books, encouraging children to become independent readers.
- Develop reading strategies and skills, accuracy, fluency, understanding and response to texts.
- Develop the ability to use and manipulate a variety of texts, both fiction and non fiction.
- Develop children’s experiences through a variety of texts including in print and digital media.
We follow Read, Write Inc. phonics scheme from Reception and teach phonics daily each morning. This continues until pupils are in Year 2 or beyond according the child’s needs.
Children are grouped for these sessions depending on the phase of phonics at which they are working. Once the children are secure within Phase 5 of Letters and Sounds, they will progress to the Spelling programme delivered for Key Stage 1 pupils. This supports pupils to develop their knowledge of sounds and words so they can become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
What is synthetics phonics?
Synthetic phonics teaches the phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters) at the rate of about six sounds per week. The sounds are taught in isolation then blended together (i.e. synthesised), all-through-the-word.
For example, children might be taught a short vowel sound (e.g. /a/) in addition to some consonant sounds (e.g. /s/, /t/, /p/). Then the children are taught words with these sounds (e.g. sat, pat, tap, at). They are taught to pronounce each phoneme in a word, then to blend the phonemes together to form the word (e.g. /s/ – /a/ – /t/; “sat”). Sounds are taught in all positions of the words, but the emphasis is on all-through-the-word segmenting and blending from week one.
Synthetic phonics involves the children rehearsing the writing of letter shapes alongside learning the letter/s-sound correspondences preferably with the tripod pencil grip. Dictation is a frequent teaching technique from letter level to word spelling, including nonsense words (e.g. choy and feep) and eventually extending to text level. We introduce letter names by singing the alphabet song and reinforce letter names alongside their phoneme.
All children will have an individual reading book from the school’s banded reading resources. We aim to hear children read individually each day until they achieve fluency. Parents are asked to listen to their child read daily and ask questions about the book to check comprehension, making comments in the reading record book.
We have a well-stocked library to support pupils in continuing their reading journey in Key Stage 2 and we expect all independent readers to also read daily. For those time when that’s not possible, we run a reading catch up club in school as we know what an impact daily reading has on pupils’ vocabulary and academic achievement.
Each class has a quality class novel which the teacher reads aloud daily to the class. Novels are carefully selected to expose children to a range of styles throughout their primary school career.
When reading, the children are encouraged to find out the meaning of new words and to share them each day with their classmates. Each week, the class with the most new words wins the ‘Word Hunters of the Week’ trophy.