Phonics and Reading
How we teach Phonics
The staff at Puriton plan fun, interactive phonics lessons using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are taught the appropriate “phase” according to their learning needs and not just their age.
There are 6 ‘Letters and Sounds’ phases:
- Phase 1 taught at pre-school.
- Phases 2, 3 and 4 are taught in Reception.
- Phases 5 is taught in Year 1.
- Phase 6 is taught in Year 2.
However, we all know that children are all different and some may need additional time and/or extra support to apply their knowledge and secure their learning, while some children learn at a faster rate and therefore move onto the next phase before the rest of the cohort.
Phonics and Reading
In Reception, Year 1 and 2 classes, reading is taught through daily phonics lessons with differentiated activities to cater for all levels of learning. Planned guided reading sessions take place regularly, so children can apply their phonic knowledge and have the opportunity to learn other reading skills by means of the ‘reading detectives’ e.g. feeling finder, where simple inferences are made. The children have the opportunity to change books during the week. In Reception, reading challenges are also given in challenge books.
- In Key Stage 1, reading is taught through daily phonics, whole class reading and guided group reading.
- In Key Stage 2, reading is taught through a combination of whole class reading and Guided Reading lessons. Children in Key Stage 2 participate in phonic sessions as needed.
- In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, ILI and Rapid Reading is used to give extra support to pupils when needed.
- In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, each child is provided with a Home-School Reading Diary to enable teachers to monitor reading at home and to communicate with parents about reading in school.
Whole class reading
- The teacher selects a high-quality piece of children's literature or non-fiction text that will challenge all pupils.
- The learning objective for the session is the same for all pupils but questions and support are differentiated for different abilities.
- The teacher reads the text to the class, modelling fluency, intonation and comprehension, and pupils follow the text with their own copy. Children also develop their fluency, following the teacher’s modelling.
- The teacher uses skilful questioning and discussion to help pupils get to grips with new vocabulary and develop their understanding of the text.
- Pupils work on activities that help them to develop their comprehension of the text. Activities do not always need a written outcome, for example you may use drama to help children explore a character through role play, debates or freeze frames.
- Children are split into ability groups and work weekly with the teacher or Teaching assistant.
- The focus of the lessons are a mix of fluency and comprehension.
- The text is aimed at the level of the children in the group, to enable them to develop their fluency. The ‘Echo Reading’ method is used to develop children’s fluency.
It is important, as well as being able to read a text, that children understand what has been read. Staff use a variety of comprehension materials to teach the skills needed explicitly.
In EYFS children are assessed against development matters and ELGs, while also using the book band criteria. In KS1 and 2 each child's progress is assessed against the objectives for their year group.
The terms, 'emerging', 'developing', 'secure' and 'secure with greater depth' are used to track their progress against these targets and to plan the next steps accordingly. At the end of the year, most children will be 'secure' - showing that they are working securely at age-related expectations.
Some children may not reach this stage and this will be reported accordingly. A few children may have demonstrated that they can apply their knowledge, skills and understanding consistently and independently in a wide range of different contexts and they will be 'working at greater depth' with respect to the age-related expectations.