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The teaching of Reading and Phonics

Phonics teaching

The school rigorously and systematically follows the phonic programme Letters and Sounds. We also supplement this with additional sessions to cover new elements in reading and writing in light of the National Curriculum. The children receive daily discrete phonic teaching at their age-related level in all classes from Reception through to Year 2. In addition to this, phonic intervention groups deliver targeted support for those children working at a lower than expected level from Reception to Year 2.

KS2 teachers use national curriculum expectations and national strategy resource to teach reading and spelling at age related levels across the whole key stage. Children in Key stage 2 who are still not secure of their phonics skills receive Letter and Sounds phonics intervention to address gaps in their phonic knowledge in small targeted intervention groups/1:1. Additional interventions are also available to support when the usual phonics support is ineffective. KS2 teachers and TAs continue to use strategies from Letters and Sounds to support reading and writing in classes. All teachers and TAs have regular training to develop their knowledge of the Letters and Sounds and its application.

Guided Reading

All children across both key stages receive timetabled guided reading sessions each week. A variety of reading schemes are available to the children for example Big Cat, Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree. These include a range of fully decodable texts, fiction and non-fiction as well as a wide range of genres and authors.

Southery Academy has recently collated the reading resources, and we now follow the National Book Banding Scheme, which our books fit in to. There are phonics stage linked reading books available, as well as ‘adventurous reading books’ for our first reading bands to encourage children to become aspirational readers. These books are designed to be read with an adult at home, and have some wonderful follow up activities included. At Key Stage 2, teachers use book banded books, short reads and longer chapter books to support the teaching of reading. Teachers also use examples of real texts, such as recipes, news reports and poetry to provide broad and balanced reading experiences.

For children who struggle with their reading, or have struggled with engaging with reading, we have the Project X book scheme, which ties in with the National Book Banding System. These are available in guided reading packs and individual readers to send home. Project X has been proven to be an effective additional reading resource for children who are reluctant to read or struggle with their reading.

All teachers and TAs have training on guided reading strategies such as effective questioning techniques, linking questions to the reading National Curriculum objectives and writing assessment comments. For individual and home reading, the children use a range of reading scheme books that link in to the school’s book banding system. Parents are encouraged to hear their children read at home every day, even in KS2, and phonics workshops have been provided to support reading at home for children in Reception/KS1. Children also have access to a well-stocked library where they can choose both fiction and non-fiction texts to take home and share.

Phonics & Reading Assessment

Phonic knowledge is tracked through EYFS and KS1, and used effectively to identify the need for phonic intervention. PIXL Reading assessments and National Curriculum objectives are used to assess reading through KS1 and KS2. In addition to phonics intervention, specific reading intervention is used across KS1 and KS2 to target low level and SEN readers.

Phonics screening takes place in the summer term 2021 for year 1.

There will also be screening for year 2 in the second part of the autumn term 2020. For those children in year 2 who have not met the standard it will be statutory to sit the phonics screening in the summer term 2021.

If you have any further questions regarding reading and phonics, please contact the Academy and speak to Mr Parrish, English Lead or Mrs Shanks, Phonics Lead.