Reading and Phonics
Learning to read is a crucial life skill. Your child will develop this skill throughout their time at school from learning basic sounds to being able to deduce and infer meaning from a range of texts. Being able to read is one aspect of the reading journey; reading for pleasure enables children to further develop their language, vocabulary and writing skills, explore the curriculum, pursue interests and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. We strive for all of our children to become competent readers and develop a love of reading through our interdisciplinary curriculum which is based on high quality and engaging texts suited to children’s age and experiences.
In EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and Key Stage 1, we have a large selection of colour-banded books which the children are encouraged to change and take home to share regularly. A reading diary is provided to all children as a place where parents, staff and children, can comment upon their progress in reading.
Phonics and Spelling
At TSM, we follow the Letters and Sounds phonic programme. Children are taught phonics daily throughout EYFS, Year 1 and 2. Letter and Sounds is divided into 6 phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. During phonics, children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ which are words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught. During Year 1 and 2, while phonic knowledge is securing, children begin to learn spellings in line with the rest of Key Stage 2.
The main reading scheme we use at TSM is the Oxford Reading Tree, however we supplement the scheme with a range of other books such as Discovery World, Rigby Star and Project X; this enables all our children to have a wide choice of books in different styles when learning to read. There are regular opportunities for the children to read on a 1:1 basis with a member of staff or our fantastic team of volunteers.
The children have regular opportunities to choose library books and change their reading books. Our library is well stocked with a fantastic range of books for all ages and interests.
How can you support your child’s reading at home?
Children in all year groups are expected to read daily at home, either to an adult or independently, dependent on age and ability. We would encourage the children to read anything that they are interested in, it doesn’t just have to be their reading book!
Parents can support children to learn key words using the lists sent home or as part of their child’s everyday reading, pointing them out in sentences or asking children if they can spot them in their books. Short activities such as cutting up key word cards and playing games with them, e.g. making up silly sentences by combining different words keeps learning fun. We want all of our children to enjoy learning to read.
Read to your child as much as possible. Read, read and read some more! You can read anything at all with your child; school reading books are a good choice but reading anything that your child shows an interest in is valuable. Reading aloud to your child helps to develop their range of vocabulary and enhance their enjoyment of books which in turn helps them develop their writing skills. It can be helpful to talk about the characters in the books, perhaps stop and ask your child what he/she thinks may happen next or ask his/her opinion on the story.
For guidance on reading, you can see some highly recommended websites and some recommended books for all ages and abilities by clicking on the tabs above.
Here are some recommended websites for supporting your children’s reading:
- Guardian Children’s Book site: recommended reads and much more!
- Oxford Owl: a great site to support reading and maths skills, including a large number of free e-books which are also tablet friendly
- Phonics Play: Lots of great phonics resources
- Teach Your Monster to Read: a free game to practise the first steps of reading
- TES iboard: a great website to support key skills
- Words For Life: Excellent guidance from the Literacy Trust
If you would like any further guidance, please see your child’s teacher.