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Knollmead Primary School

Phonics and Reading

At Knollmead we believe that English is a fundamental life skill.

Reading

Knollmead Primary School has a clear, consistent, whole school approach to reading, which recognises that reading needs a multi-strategy approach. Competence and pleasure in reading is the key to independent learning and is given the highest priority, enabling the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect upon progress in all other areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children's self confidence and motivation. Each year group has different banded reading book schemes, which are both phonetical and non-phonetical. This is to stop repetition of reading books throughout the children's time at Knollmead.

Phonics

The teaching of phonics is an integral part of the curriculum in both the Early Years and Key Stage 1 classrooms.

We follow the national phonics programme, 'Letters and Sounds', where children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling.  The teaching of phonics is a high priority for all teachers as it enables pupils to decode for reading and encode for spelling.

In EYFS, sounds are introduced using 'Jolly Phonics' approach and then children are moved to a broader approach using 'Letters and Sounds' which forms the basis for the teaching of phonics in Years 1 and 2.

We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable. Children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practice and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.

We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, speaking and listening, songs, rhymes and practical activities.  Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities.

Staff involved in the teaching of phonics groups have been appropriately trained in order to provide a consistency of approach throughout the school.

Alongside the teaching of phonics, children have access to a language rich environment where they are able to apply their decoding skills and develop language comprehension in order to 'read'.

Reading comprehension

Through shared, individual and guided reading our children learn the importance of reading comprehension.

The skills taught within these lessons:

  • understanding the text
  • making connections with existing knowledge
  • reflecting upon responses
  • engaging with the text
  • critically evaluating the text
  • monitoring own understanding making decisions about which strategies will help clarify understanding

This makes the approach to reading an active process within our school. Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children's self-esteem, confidence and motivation. It is for this reason that we place a heavy emphasis on reading.

Writing

Writing is a vital means of communicating our thoughts, instructions, opinions, knowledge and ideas and it is essential that all pupils have the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to put this into practice. We aim to create learning situations in which all children will experience a structured approach to learning writing skills (including grammar and handwriting) in order to become competent writers.

Speaking and Listening

We believe that communication, both oral and written, is the key to success, to social integration and to personal development and happiness. We aim to equip our children with the skills, knowledge and experiences they need to use language effectively.  Speaking and listening activities are embedded throughout the curriculum. Teachers encourage the regular use of 'Learning Partners' and group discussion to allow children to develop their oral skills and their ability to communicate and cooperate with their peers. Key vocabulary is pre taught to the children giving them the necessary tools to enable them to fully participate in all lessons.