Teaching children to read is at the heart of our goal as an Academy. Daily teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics is an integral part of how we teach our children to read.
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. In turn, this helps them to develop the skills needed to read and then write.
We follow an adapted version of the Letters and Sounds phonics programme which begins when our pupils first start school with us, whether that is in our Nursery or Year R or at any point they join us if they need phonics.
Pupils continue learning to read through phonics until they complete Phase 5. At this point, they move onto our Accelerated Reader programme of reading, which provides banded books to help pupils continue their reading journey. The skills they learn through their phonics learning will help them throughout their lives.
As well as phonics, all our pupils enjoy daily reading lessons, storytimes and visit our library once a week where they have access to a wide range of books that they can bring home to enjoy with you.
Example Phonics Booklet
Below is an example of the phonics booklets our pupils begin using when they start Phase 3 of phonics (usually in Year R but all pupils learn at different rates).
Pupils begin by reviewing sounds they have already learned with their teacher.
They then learn to segment and blend words that contain new and familiar sounds and then read words containing sounds they have learned.
Every lesson provides pupils with a chance to apply their phonics skills to one of our modern fully-decodable Big Cat books.
In a single lesson, pupils will practise reading hundreds of words.
Bringing Phonics Booklets Home
Pupils in Years 1-6 who are learning to read through phonics will bring these booklets home everyday; it is important they are returned to school daily.
Spending 5 minutes a day practising the sounds in these books that your child has learned will help them to consolidate and develop their reading skills.
Reading at Home
Once pupils hit their first phonics milestone in Year R (usually midway through the Autumn term but all pupils learn at different speeds), they will begin bringing home Big Cat Fully Decodable Texts.