English: Phonics & Reading
We have always placed a strong emphasis on the significance of phonic knowledge for the teaching and learning of both reading and writing. Phonics teaching begins in Reception and continues throughout school in daily sessions.
In reception, the children follow the sequence and structure of lessons within the Letters and Sounds scheme but use Jolly Phonics as a vehicle for the content.
Within Key Stage One, the children continue to follow an adapted structure of Letters and Sounds that has been combined with the requirements of the New National Curriculum in 2014 (English Appendix 1 & 2). Please see the attached document which gives a sequence of learning which has been carefully designed by the English Leadership Team at Horley Infant School. We continually evaluate and reflect on this structure, adapting where we see fit.
The children are taught in whole class groups in order to “keep up” with the pitch of learning but smaller group/individual support supplements this through “catch up” sessions if/when required.
We use a range of resources including phonic cards, games, classroom displays, Espresso, Bug Club and phonically decodable reading books to support Wave 1 teaching and learning but also use Project X and FFT WAVE as structured interventions.
Parents are encouraged to support children’s learning of phonics by using the sound cards which are sent home weekly, starting in Reception. Parents are also invited into school to join us in ‘Fun With Phonics’ sessions within Reception and Year 1.
Reading schemes and the teaching of reading
One of the aims stated in our English Policy is for children to develop a love of reading and appreciation of literature for both enjoyment and information. We recognise that reading skills develop over time and we acknowledge that these begin with a good phonic knowledge. However, our belief is that children need to be encouraged to use a range of strategies to decode texts which build upon their good phonic knowledge: pictorial clues, to read on, read back and to use semantic clues.
We encourage understanding, interpreting, engaging with and responding to texts, by using a wide range of reading matter and opportunities for children to select materials independently from both fiction and non-fiction, books, comics, newspapers. As a result we do not follow one reading scheme in our teaching and learning of reading but use a range of texts.
We are continually developing our reading schemes and our Friends of Horley Infant School have recently agreed to fund £5,000 towards purchasing books which are phonically matched to the children’s level of understanding.
Similarly, we have a wide range of resources in school to support reading, including a good range of ‘big’ books’, story sacks, CDs and Guided Reading texts. Many resources are purchased by the Friends’ fund raising. Children are also encouraged to take books home from the school library.
Supporting your child
Children are expected to read at home daily and for the parent/carer to record comments in the Reading Records. We encourage a broad and balanced ‘reading diet’ including the use of e-books through our Bug Club subscription.
We welcome volunteers into school to hear and read with children – please see our “Helping in School” section of the website for more information around how you can help!
Useful activities for you to try at home:
Our current stock includes, but is not limited to:
- Oxford Reading Tree including Biff, Chip & Kipper, Floppy Phonics, Project X and Snapdragons
- Collins (Big Cat)
- Pearsons (Rigby Star & Bug Club)
- Usborne First Reading
- Ladybird Reading
- Dandelion Readers
- Wyland Start Reading Series
- Longman Book Project
- Heinemann Sunshine Books
If you would like paper copies for any of the information on our website, please contact the school office