Phonics & Reading

Phonics and Reading at Gayton 
Phonics & reading: 

The teaching of phonics aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well as to prepare children for learning to read and write by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.

Teachers plan and teach daily activities based on the objectives from Letters and Sounds and Support for Spelling, published by the Department for Education and Skills. All children in F2- Y2 will have a daily phonics lesson. These lessons include songs and actions for phase 2, 3 and phase 5 (set 1). Each lesson follows a 4 part structure: revisit, teach, practise and apply.  Planning builds on prior knowledge and experience to ensure progression. Teachers track and evaluate pupils’ progress regularly and use this information to inform future learning.

In Year 1, children revisit phase three and move through a progression of lessons until they reach the end of phase five, occassionally starting phase 6 in the summer 2nd half term. From phase six, children then work through Support for Spelling programme and the National Curriculum objectives. Teachers match activities to the needs of all children in the class. Phonics is also a focus for guided reading sessions in KS1 to consolidate their learning and apply what they have been taught. 

Understanding key vocabulary related to phonics: 

blending- Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word. 
digraph- A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.
trigraph- 3 letter shapes that make one sound/phoneme e.g. igh, ear, air, ure. 
grapheme- A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters. Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter. 
phoneme- A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes, c-a-t
segmenting- Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it. 
split digraph- A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e. 
consonant blend/cluster- when two phonemes join together and can be blended together (phase 4) such as spl-at or bl-end. 
pseudo word- A made up 'alien' word that incorportates the phonics sounds they have also been taught. 
tricky word- a word that ( at the time) is not decodable. 
Pathways to Read: 

School uses Power of Reading to promote reading and writing across the school.  Power of Reading utilises high quality children’s literature and proven creative teaching approaches to support and develop a high quality literacy curriculum and a whole school love of reading and writing.  Where possible, staff will make links to their wider curriculum with the texts chosen. Teaching sequence plans are clear, packed with engaging activities and adaptable to suit the needs of individual classes (speaking and listening & drama based activities). The reading of the text is intertwined with the learning of reading skills thereby constantly promoting the development of children’s reading skills.

As a school we place significant emphasis on the explicit teaching of vocabulary and have introduced the use of magpie books from Year 2-Year 6 to promote children’s understanding and use of vocabulary. 

Staff ensure that some form of writing takes place daily (e.g.vocabulary generation/planning, SPAG, writing activity) Power of reading enables whole range of different genres of writing to be covered all centred around the text.

Across school, we also operate a daily guided reading model to support children in further progressing in their reading. Guided reading faciliates the daily teaching of reading. 

We utilise a range of different reading schemes including:  Bug Club, Rigby Star, Treetops, Project X and Big Cat.  

We recognise that parent partnership is a crucial tool in your child's progress. We encourage children to read their home/school reading book every evening. However, we would also like parents to take the time to read to their child so that you can share and discuss texts together. This is such a powerful way of developing your child's language and vocabulary aswell.