View the Oxford Owl website for helping your child read at home.
Reading and Phonics
At Kirk Merrington Primary School we believe that being able to read and write are the vital skills that enable us to understand and express ourselves more effectively.
These skills open the door to learning. We passionately believe in helping children to develop not only the technical skills, but we aim to instil a love for reading and writing.
In order for us to teach the skills of reading, children in Reception and Key Stage One take part in daily phonics lessons. We follow the Letters and Sounds program.
What is Letters and Sounds?
‘Letters and Sounds’ is a government published phonics scheme for the teaching and delivering of systematic phonics. Phonics is the building blocks that young children learn, to enable them to become fluent readers.
‘Letters and Sounds’ is split into 6 phases that are usually taught from nursery through to the end of Key Stage One.
Phase 1: Children learn rhymes, keep rhythms and start to relate letter sounds to words (e.g. b for bag).
Phase 2: Children learn initial letter sounds and begin to build CVC words such as big.
Phase 3: Children learn all 44 phonemes and blend sounds to read and write words.
Phase 4: Children blend consonants together to read words with more difficulty e.g. trap, clip.
Phase 5: Children learn how to read and spell alternative letter sounds e.g. rain, day, cake, Mae.
Phase 6: Children learn how to read and spell words with specific spelling rules e.g. suffixes.
Can you recommend some websites?
Our classrooms are full of visual stimuli to help children begin to read and write. Children take part in individual and guided reading sessions, led by an adult on a weekly basis. These sessions inevitably focus on the decoding of the words while children are learning to read. The focus shifts towards the children’s understanding of the texts they are reading as they become fluent readers and they begin to develop the skills of inference and deduction.
Reading for Pleasure
At Kirk Merrington Primary School, we encourage a reading for pleasure ethos through daily reading sessions, class story time, library time, reading events such as World Book Day and book fairs and author visits. Children across the school have access to a wide variety of high-quality texts in every classroom and in the library.
Teachers nurture a love of reading by introducing books with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the book is explored. Teachers use quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning.
At the end of every school day, teachers share a class book, aloud to the children, to further promote a love for reading.
All children in our school are provided with a home reading book. At the beginning of the children’s reading journey, children are provided with a home reading book that is matched to the child’s reading level. We follow the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme. Rooted in reading for pleasure and with systematic phonics at its heart, it provides a progressive scheme which enables children to become competent and confident readers. Although for some children who need further practise on a particular level, we may also provide the children with ‘Big Cat’ and ‘Songbird’ books. Our reading scheme offers children a variety of texts for both fiction and non-fiction.
As the children progress through the reading scheme and become fluent and independent readers, at the teacher’s discretion, the children may move onto ‘free reader’ whereby the children can choose their own reading book from the library or from home. We believe this enhances the children’s reading for pleasure as they are allowed to read books that spark their imagination.
Children’s reading is monitored and tracked very carefully, including those on ‘free reader’. If any issues arise from a child’s reading, they may receive additional reading practise with an adult in school.
In guided reading sessions, the children follow the Rigby Star reading scheme in both KS1 and KS2. KS2 children may also participate in ‘Read and Respond’ guided reading sessions. Our children may also be sharing a book of their choosing, a poem, a newspaper article or any other text relevant to their learning.
Comprehension skills are taught throughout our English lessons as we allow time for children to question and think deeply about texts they are reading or that they have heard. We develop these skills specifically within guided reading/ comprehension sessions.
Texts are also shared with the whole class and children will be read to by the teacher on a regular basis. This enables the children to listen carefully and really understand the meaning of the texts. We firmly believe that we are the best model for children to hear reading as we are able to demonstrate intonation and introduce books with enthusiasm. It is also an important opportunity for children to share their thoughts and ideas and to learn from one another.
Reading at home is an essential part of learning to read. Each child is provided with a reading book and record. Children are encouraged to read regularly at home and discuss texts with their families. We thoroughly monitor the consistency of regular reading at school and promote regular reading with prizes and ‘dojo points’. We actively encourage parents to engage with their child’s reading journey by hearing their child read at least three times per week.
At Kirk Merrington Primary school we also have some lovely volunteers who come into school every week to hear our wonderful children read. This encourages children to showcase their reading skills on a weekly basis.
School Reading List
If you are looking for books to buy for your children here are some ideas.