Reading and Phonics
The National Curriculum for English states that
“reading widely and often opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious minds.”
At Hollymount, we know that inspiring a love of literacy in our pupils, so that they fall in love with reading for life, is one of the best ways to hook children into reading and writing. Children from Reception to Year 6 are exposed to high quality children’s literature and creative teaching approaches. Whole class approaches are used, particularly in KS2, enabling children to discuss and explore a text further, supporting children’s understanding and enjoyment.
We teach synthetic phonics daily in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, based on Letters and Sounds and the Jolly Phonics scheme. Children are encouraged to use phonic techniques (decoding and sounding out) to read and spell words but “tricky” (high frequency) words are taught and learnt discretely. From Year 2 to Year 6 we use the ‘No Nonsense’ spelling programme, which teaches the strategies, knowledge and skills pupils need to learn spellings. Pupils learn their spellings in class and at home, which include statutory words, common exceptions and, in KS2, their own personal spellings.
Children choose reading material from class book corners, the school library bus and from a variety of reading schemes. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, children read books that are in line with their phonics understanding. Children frequently read one to one with an adult, particularly in Early Years and KS1 when developing their phonics. Once independent, children are encouraged to read to their peers and engage in whole class discussion. When learning to read, we also encourage children to make use of other strategies such as using contextual and picture clues, which support reading for meaning.
We are extremely fortunate to have highly skilled librarian with a Masters in Children’s Literature. She helps children choose books that will engage and excite them as well as run small group reading interventions to support decoding and foster a love of reading.