Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to guide children’s learning in Reading in Foundation Stage and Year 1. This also continues into Year 2 and beyond until children are confident.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
How will my child be taught to read?
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will let you know how well your child has done in their end of Year 1 report.
What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn't do?
You will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading. Please come and support your child. We would very much like you to know how to help.
Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. Their home-school reading book will be a book chosen carefully to match their phonic ability. They will also be able to visit the school library and bring books home for you to share together.
When reading a home-school reading book together, help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link:
Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘this is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
Please see a copy of the powerpoint shared with staff at our recent Phonics information evening