All children have a daily spelling or phonics session, which is taught at a level appropriate to their needs. We use the DfE's Letters and Sounds scheme to ensure there is a systematic approach to the development of children’s phonic knowledge. It is out aim that all children will learn to read and spell effectively. We use the Read Write Inc materials to support our teaching of spelling in Years two to six. As part of our systematic approach to teaching phonics and spelling, we regularly assess pupils to ensure expected or better progress is made. We know that not all children learn to read and write at the same pace, so we have bespoke spelling interventions depending on need. These include ‘Five Minute Box’ and IDL (Indirect Dyslexia Learning) Literacy. We have a number of children who start our school in different year groups without any English. With these pupils’ specific needs in mind, we run a bespoke EAL group, which focuses on basic language. When pupils are ready, they access phonics in a group with peers of a similar age.
Alongside learning how to decode words and use spelling patterns, we know that children need to experience reading whole texts. In this way, children will have the chance to apply their decoding skills, while improving their comprehension: reading for meaning.
To support this, we offer children a daily reading session, which will include opportunities to engage with a text (both fiction and non-fiction), answer questions about it, respond to the text in creative ways and read with the teacher in a guided group. We use a range of reading schemes that follow a progressive book band system. Children also experience having stories read to them by adults and for many children, shared story time is the highlight of the day! Our main aim is to develop a love of books and a love of reading in all our children. We want all children to value books and use them to become fluent readers themselves. This is why every child has a reading book to take home. Books are finely graded to match reading ability. Finally, children have the chance to engage with a range of fiction and non-fiction through their literacy lessons and across the curriculum. For example, through Research Projects in history and geography, children will read about all sorts of things; volcanoes and earthquakes, rainforests, the Romans and the Egyptians. We are in the process of creating a school library and cannot wait for this to be up and running so pupils can further develop their love of reading.