Phonics and Reading
At Oaktree Nursery and Primary School, early reading is taught using phonics as the main approach to reading. We follow the Read Write Inc. scheme which sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills. This starts in the Early Years and we aim for children to be fluent readers by the end of Year 2.
Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading.
Throughout Reception and Key stage 1, phonics is taught in ability groups of various sizes so that the teaching is closely matched to the needs of all children.
In Nursery we follow Letters and Sounds, Phase One, which concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonics work they progress to in Reception. The emphasis during Phase One is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Towards the end of Nursery we start to look at letter sounds and follow the Read Write Inc. Nursery Handbook.
There are 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English alphabetic code, but only 26 single letters. Children first learn one way to read these sounds, then learn to read the same sounds but with alternative graphemes (the written symbol which represents the sound).
In Read Write Inc phonic books are closely matched to their phonic knowledge and ‘tricky’ words (those words which cannot be sounded out). As children re-read stories their fluency increases.
Reading at Oaktree
We have a wide range of reading scheme books to support the early development of reading. All our early reading books are carefully sorted to match the right band to their reading abilities so reading can be practised at home with confidence. Parents are asked to read these with their children and to sign their home – school reading diary. The majority of books within the early book bands can be decoded using phonics skills and knowledge. At the very early stage of learning, children will practice telling stories through pictures.
In Key Stage 1, book marks are sent home with suggestions as to how parents can support their children with reading, through questioning.
Those children who are not making expected progress in reading or, who are finding it difficult to maintain progress are given extra support through targeted interventions.
We encourage pupils to develop a love of reading. All classrooms have attractive reading areas with a range of quality texts. Children in Key Stage 1 also have access to a shared reading area. Teachers read stories for enjoyment and we regularly encourage interest in reading through book topics and whole school book events.