Phonics and Reading at Imperial Avenue Infant School
At Imperial Avenue Infant School our aims for reading are that all children:
- become successful at reading
- enjoy reading
- learn the skills to make sense of reading
- develop good comprehension and understanding
- learn to use the higher skills to find information for themselves.
In our teaching of reading, we use the phonics programme Letters and Sounds to help children to hear sounds in words, recognise and read words and identify sounds in words and ascribe letters to these… Within this approach children are taught about “tricky” words. These are words that are not phonetically regular and need to be learnt by sight. At Imperial we often display these words in red so children understand they just have to read them without sounding them. In key stage 1 these words are also used as spelling homework so children learn to read and spell them correctly. (See list of tricky words attached)
In nursery, the children learn to hear and distinguish the difference between sounds before being introduced to letters. Children learn to hear rhyme and alliteration and how to blend and segment (robot talk) a word into its sounds (phonemes). This is initially done orally. Children who are confident at doing this usually progress well with their reading and writing skills when letters are then introduced.
From Foundation Stage 2 to Year 2 children have a regular, daily phonics lesson which follow a review, teach practice and apply structure. The sessions are focused and fully interactive and have a breadth of study which includes application to both reading and writing.
In Foundation stage 2 the focus is on learning the pure sound that each letter most often makes rather than the letter name in the first stages. Children are introduced to pictures and link early sounds to the images on cards beginning with the 6 sounds s,a,t,p,i,n. Children are taught to word build to 2 and 3 letter words such as in tap at pat. Children are taught the remaining single letters and are then introduced to digraphs and trigraphs. These are phonemes (sounds) which are represented by two letters such as ai in rain.
At Imperial Avenue Infant School we are aware that not all children learn to read in the same way and that the phonics approach may not be the correct one for them. We then look at other methods such as whole word reading and try this with the children to find a learning style that suits them.
Imperial Avenue Infants School has many new reading resources from a range of publishers to engage the children and motivate them to learn to read. Gradually pupils’ confidence and skills expand and develop. These books are finely graded in accordance with the PM benchmark grades which enable pupils to make progress through the levels. Children are timetabled throughout the week to read with the teaching assistant assigned to the class. Bringing their book bag every day is very important as children will read at different times.
In addition, children have group guided reading sessions with their teacher or teaching assistant. Children also have access to a range of library materials and class collections of books. In year 1 and 2 this takes place at the beginning of the school day. Teachers read stories to children and use interactive whiteboards to engage pupils in their reading. It is important to read for pleasure as well as to improve skills. The local library (the BRITE centre) is close to the school and we use this resource as a school. We encourage all families to become members to help the children to select their own reading material.
We expect children to take their books home, to read regularly at home and for parents to be part of this important time. This is reading homework. A reward system is used to encourage pupils to take pride in their reading skills and to celebrate their hard work when reading at home. The home reading incentive supports families to read with their children, who are rewarded for this at certain times with a prize.
Children who read regularly at home generally make quicker progress by adding greatly to their ‘reading miles’.
How do we monitor progress?
Reading is assessed regularly and pupil progress is tracked on the school tracking system half termly. Children are regularly assessed using a detailed reading assessment called “The PM Bench mark kit” to ensure they are reading books at the correct level. This assessment demonstrates the child’s retelling and comprehension skills to ensure we are developing them as readers and not and simply decoders of text.
Where we think pupils should make more accelerated progress, we provide small group or individual reading support/intervention to boost their learning.
We monitor home reading using a weekly reading rocket. Children can complete a rocket by reading at least five times at home with an adult signing their rocket. Rockets are taken out of their book bags every Friday and a new rocket is put in. When the children have completed three rockets in a row they receive a prize. This helps us to identify how well children are developing their “reading miles” and allows us to track the pupils for the reward system (outlined above).
Reading resources for phonics
Read, Write Inc. –Ruth Miskin phonics materials
Oxford University Press- Floppy’s phonics/Song Birds/Songbirds/Project X books
Pearson- Phonics Bug Club
Phonics Books Ltd-Dandelion launchers
Collins-Big Cat series
Our Literacy Coordinator’s at Imperial are Mrs Barker and Mrs Partridge
A Reading Workshop for parents was held. Click this link to view the the power point presentation shared with parents
Mrs Mistry is very experienced in moving children forward with their reading. She is happy to speak to parents about how to read with your child at home. Contact the school to make an appointment for Mrs Mistry’s ‘Reading Clinic’.
Websites for your child to practice phonic skills and games
www.phonicsplay.co.uk (click on the ‘free phonicsplay’ link)
www.oxfordowl.co.uk (click on the ‘For Home’ link)
Please find the following slideshows that were shown at the Foundation Stage parents meeting: