Reading, Synthetic Phonics and Reading Schemes
“pupils who are still struggling to decode need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers. If they cannot decode independently and fluently, they will find it increasingly difficult to understand what they read and to write down what they want to say.”
(National Curriculum 2014)
At St Cecilia’s Junior School, we believe that it is essential that any pupils entering the Juniors with poor decoding skills are taught through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of their decoding and spelling. We strive to ensure by the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English.
1. Our Aims for teaching phonics:
If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure knowledge and understanding of the letter sounds and systems of the English language.
●To close any gaps in the children’s knowledge and application of phonics.
●To ensure that our children develop as competent readers and writers.
●To equip the children with a secure knowledge of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language.
●To develop their phonic skills in a systematic way.
●To establish consistent practice, progression and continuity in the teaching and learning of phonics in Key Stage 2.
Teaching and Learning
Reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.’
(National Curriculum 2014)
We want our children to be enthusiastic readers who by the end of their primary education, are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
As a school we plan and teach to meet or exceed the Statutory requirements laid out in the New National Curriculum 2014.
To be ‘secondary ready’ at the end of Key Stage 2, we provide:
The most up to date Oxford Reading Tree Books, covering fiction/non-fiction, the chucklers range, graphic novels and classics are used across key stage 2.
Wolf hill and Bug Club decodable books are used with lower ability readers and SEN.
Classroom library books are used with the more secure, independent readers.
Children are monitored regularly using the most up to date Salford reading tests. This informs our assessment and ensures every child is reading at the correct level. Reading records play an important part in monitoring our children’s reading habits and preferences.
St Cecilia’s Juniors have invested in Bug Club. Once a week every child takes part in guided read, using quality, engaging books; closely matched to the child’s reading ability.
Every child at St Cecilia’s Juniors has their own online virtual bookcase on Bug Club which they are encouraged to access at school and at home. We provide laptops and I pads to engage all different types of readers.
Bug Club engages our children with popular character-led interactive eBooks which ask questions to test the children’s understanding. Our children enjoy building Bug Club points and designing their own avatars as rewards. Bug Club has rigorous pedagogy, fine levelling, and assessment tools built in. Teachers can check online their children’s reading habits, preferences and understanding of texts.
In years 5/6 a set of books recommended by FFT are used with our daily readers. These books match the child’s reading age but are age related to engage the reader.
We are currently participating in ‘Grow @ KS2’ which is an intervention programme run by our reading recovery teacher. This programme is run 1:1 with the child and uses reading to improve writing. This is aimed at year 3 & 4 children who are working below expected level in reading.
Our children are encouraged to read independently and for pleasure every day during guided read carousel. Lots of materials are encouraged including: First news, poetry, topic books, books the children have requested for their classroom libraries, school library books, the children’s own books and the most current books which are dotted around our school at different ‘reading stops.’