Reading and Phonics

Reading and Phonics

Your child will learn to read at school using our highly successfully multi-sensory, synthetic phonics approach. It is important to note that as well as learning the names of the letters of the alphabet, children need to know the sounds (phonemes) the letters make in words. This is the basis of a phonetic approach. As children move through the scheme they will begin to use two (diagraphs) or more letters to represent one sound. This “Letters and Sounds” scheme outlines an order of learning the letters which is not in alphabetical order. The children start with the letters (graphemes) “s,a,t,i,p,n” as these six letters can be used to make numerous three letter words, thus allowing children to read and spell some simple words very quickly. So please don’t worry if we appear to be jumping around the alphabet!

Here at Humshaugh we use Read, Write Inc. (RWI) Phonics scheme. Children actively engage in the fun activities and multi-sensory way in which we teach it, and quickly realise they blend some letters (phonemes) to read simple words within a few weeks of starting school. Early success gives our children confidence to have a go at reading for themselves and gain pleasure from this new world they are entering for the first time. Early Phonics teaching begins in Nursery and Daily Phonics teaching begins in Reception and continues throughout Key Stage One.

Reading at Home

Each child in Reception to Year 2 will have the following reading books sent home in their book bags:
A RWI storybook that they have already read in class. This is a book they should be able to read fluently to parents at home, containing the phoneme (sound) that your child is focusing on. We call this book I CAN READ as the children are able to read it easily and confidently.
A 'Bookbag Book' that links directly to the RWI story book (the same phonemes are in both the books.) We call this book WE CAN READ as children may need a little support to read this book as you share it together, with your child being able to read most of it.
A library book for you to share with your child as a story that you read to them. We call this book YOU CAN READ as parents will mostly read it to their child as they enjoy the story that you share together.
The three books are changed once a week on Monday, the expectation is that the children have three levels of challenge with their reading books - an 'easy' book they read fluently, an unknown but decodable bookbag book they can read with a little support and a library book that they choose themselves and share with parents as a book they love, but will need parents to read it to them.

The reading scheme is also supplemented with a variety of graded books to add interest, challenge and diversity to our children’s reading. Throughout the school our children are encouraged to make the most of opportunities to read independently for personal pleasure.

In addition, we have reading areas in our classrooms and a separate library with a comfortable seating areas, all of which have a range of high level reading books and magazines which have been specifically chosen thus highlighting how keen we are to develop reading for pleasure.

Links between home and school are very important and we expect the children to read at least three times a week at home. Much of the focused teaching of reading is done in school through ‘Guided Reading’ which is common practice in most schools.

We have an amazing team of reading volunteers who regularly listen to children read throughout the week.

Research by the National Literacy Trust stresses the importance of reading for pleasure at home and school.  According to Krashen (1993):

“When children read for pleasure, when they get “hooked on books”, they acquire, involuntarily and without conscious effort, nearly all of the so-called “language skills” many people are so concerned about: they will become adequate readers, acquire a large vocabulary, develop the ability to understand and use complex grammatical constructions, develop a good writing style, and become good (but not necessarily perfect) spellers.

Although free voluntary reading alone will not ensure attainment of the highest levels of literacy, it will at least ensure an acceptable level. Without it, I suspect that children simply do not have a chance.”

Children in EYFS benefit hugely from a bedtime story, and this should continue as the child gets older.  Throughout primary school, children still benefit from listening to stories and the spoken word.  Please try to read at home with your children for 15 minutes every day and record this in your child’s reading record.