Reading and Phonics Information
Phonics and Spelling
St Mary’s follows the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme for teaching phonics. Phonics is taught in discrete daily lessons and is continually reinforced in English and Guided reading sessions. Phonics activities are practical, engaging and varied to ensure all learners are engaged and making progress.
Children in the EYFS take part in a range of activities aimed at developing their listening skills. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced and children are taught the process of segmenting and blending to enable them to read and write simple words.
Year 1 is a foundation year for both reading and spelling, with children being taught important spelling patterns and exception words as well as how split digraphs work. They will learn both digraphs (sounds made by two letters, such as ‘ee’ or ‘ir’) and trigraphs (sounds made by three letters, such as ‘igh’ and ‘tch’). They will look at how the same sounds can be made by different groups of letters, for example: oy and oi (as in ‘toy’ and ‘coin’)
Children will also be taught ‘common exception words’. These are words commonly found in the English language, but which do not follow the phonic rules that have been taught so far. Examples of these in Year 1 are: ‘were’, ‘once’, ‘school’, ‘house’.
In Year 2 a more formal spelling programme is introduced. Children continue to develop their phonological awareness, as well as taking a more in-depth look at rules and patterns within different words. For example, they may look at one particular sound and then see how it is represented in different words. Children will also learn another group of common exception words. Examples of these in Year 2 are: ‘sugar’ and ‘boxer’.
The EYFS uses ‘Jelly and Bean’ reading books which are closely matched to the children’s phonic ability. This scheme begins with single words then moves on to captions and, finally, full sentences. Children read individually to the teacher/TA at least once per week. Interventions take place when needed.
In Key Stage 1 the children are taught using PM reading books and other quality literature of banded levels. This scheme continues to closely match the children’s phonic level with the addition of more high frequency and common exception words. Children continue to read individually or in pairs until they reach orange level books. At this point their word reading skills are well developed and they begin to be taught in guided groups with an increased focus on comprehension and inference skills.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 a wide variety of banded books are used for those children that still require a structured level of reading. They are supplemented with class reading materials in each classroom. The children then choose from a wide variety of reading materials in their classrooms, with some books sourced from Winsford Education Library.