English, Reading & Phonics
At St John's Catholic Primary School, children are immersed in literacy in all areas of the curriculum and school life. Whilst your child may not be 'heard' to read every day, they read throughout the school day, developing important vocabulary, and speaking, listening and writing skills.
We approach the teaching of reading in a structured way, incorporating synthetic phonics with whole class, guided and independent reading schemes.
In Key Stage 1, we use the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme, as well as a wide range of other reading books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the Collins Big Cat Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds and Pearson Phonics Bug Club schemes.
Guided reading provides an opportunity for the teacher to teach reading in relation to the differentiated needs of the pupil groups, linked to individual progress and attainment.
Synthetic phonics is the synthesizing, or blending of phonemes (sounds) to make a word, enabling children to read. It is is all the different ways each phoneme can be represented. Children are taught how to: blend phonemes in a word to read; listen for phonemes in words to spell; read irregular, high frequency words; say the phoneme first and then the letter name.
Books are chosen on ability, ranging from high quality picture books, early first word, and then onto progression through the phonic phases and book bands. Children then choose books to read independently at their own level from the Accelerated Reader range. There is a wide range of genres and authors to choose from, in order to inspire and engage children in reading.
Whole class books are also read together, to help develop comprehension skills and vocabulary.
Reception, Y1, Y2: Phonically decodable books
Y2: Children start to choose from their Accelerated Reader range, quizzing to check understanding.
Y3-Y6: Children choose from their Accelerated Reader range, quizzing when each book is read in order to develop their comprehension skills.
We encourage all children to read out loud at home to an adult, in order to continue developing fluency and expression. Parents/carers use the home reading book to record when children have read at home. It is important that all children read out loud at home, and also discuss the book, as this plays an important role in your child further developing comprehension skills.
We have provided some useful documents which explain reading and phonics in greater detail.
What does it all mean?
Parent Information and Help
You can use these free resources to help support the DfES Letters and Sounds phonics programme we use in school.