Reading and Phonics
We love reading at West Meadows Primary School!
All children take home a reading record and reading book which they can change regularly in the library. We recommend that children read at home for at least 10 minutes every day. We encourage every child to read with someone at home every night. We have a reading race in class for children to earn extra playtime for reading at home. We also recommend that parents and carers read to their children every day if possible as part of a daily routine. You can support your child by encouraging them to talk about their reading and ask them questions to check their understanding.
Guided reading takes place every day. Teachers focus on different aspects of reading in a structured way. We focus on small group activities within KS1 moving to whole class reading taught sessions as children become more fluent at reading.
We listen to stories read by adults, no matter how old we are, this brings literature alive. We do it as often as we can!
We use Oxford Reading Tree for our targeted reading books which are assessed at the child’s level. We also use Project X books for some targeted interventions.
Children can also borrow books from the school library. The class teacher will help children select appropriate level books and assess children’s levels at relevant periods throughout the year. We encourage children to choose books which they will enjoy reading.
We have used the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme as a basis to create our own version called ‘Sponics’, which the children love.
In Phonics we break words down into their sounds or phonemes. Phonemes can consist of more than one letter for example ch, oo, er, igh etc.
Two letters making a single sound e.g., ar, ee, ou, are called digraphs. Three letters making a single sound e.g., igh, are called trigraphs. A phoneme written down is called a grapheme.
Children will learn to blend phonemes to read words, e.g., sh – i – p = ship. They will also learn to segment words into phonemes to spell them, e.g., ship = sh – i – p.
It is really important that children use these blending and segmenting skills in their reading and writing to ensure they are applying these phonics skills. You can support this at home by encouraging children to blend phonemes to read words in their reading books.
Some key words can’t be segmented into separate phonemes and need to be learned by sight. These words are known as tricky words, e.g. said and the.
There are 6 Phases within the letters and sounds programme and most children will complete Phase 6 by the end of Year 2. There are interventions in place for KS2 children who are still working on Phonics skills.
We believe the key to good Phonics is high quality teaching and ensuring that children enjoy their sessions. This allows children of all abilities to make excellent progress in their synthetic phonics.