Reading and Phonics
At Easterside Academy our aim is to enable pupils to become successful readers through the specific teaching of the strategies and skills necessary to develop this fluency as well as promoting a love of reading for enjoyment. We provide this within the teaching of English and beyond it, through the wider curriculum, including independent, guided and shared reading.
In the Early Years we teach discrete phonics sessions using the Letters and Sounds programme alongside the Jolly Phonics songs and actions. This enables them to learn the phonetic code and to apply understanding of letter sounds (phonemes) with the corresponding letter shapes (graphemes). Children are taught listening skills from Nursery and the skill of segmenting and blending orally. In Reception children build on these skills and develop new phonic skills. They are given opportunities to apply these in the context of reading and writing.
Reading skills are taught using a wide range of reading materials. In Nursery children are taught how to handle books. They learn that all print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through adults sharing and discussing books. In Reception children are taught reading skills through sharing big books. Children are given opportunities for individual reading with an adult, and daily guided reading sessions. Children are given further opportunities to develop an enjoyment of reading through the use of story sacks, listening to rhymes, jingles and stories using headphones and adult led daily story sessions.
In Key Stage One we ensure there is systematic, daily, discrete teaching of phonics with opportunities to practice and apply in the context of reading and writing words and sentences. These session usually take place from 9am until 9.30am every morning.
Children who have not acquired the expected phonic standard upon entry to Key Stage 2 will continue to follow the Letters and Sounds Programme along with other reading interventions if required. In Key Stage 2 we also teach regular spelling sessions where children are given opportunities to apply new skills in a wide range of writing.
In addition to specific teaching of reading skills, pupils are given opportunities to further develop and refine their reading outside of their English lessons. Pupils have access to a wide range of appropriate reading material, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and play-scripts, with a class library in each teaching room and also through a wide range of ICT programs and resources. At Easterside Academy we also have our own school library where children can choose from a wider range of books and reading materials on as weekly basis. These can be borrowed to take home and enjoy.
A variety of reading scheme materials and ‘real books’ are used to support the children’s reading development.
At Easterside Academy our reading scheme books include:
Oxford Reading Tree – Floppy’s Phonics – Songbirds – Fireflies and Project X.
The home reading diary also forms a vital component of the school’s approach; with parents being encouraged and supported in taking an active role in the development of their child’s reading. We encourage frequent dialogue between school and home, which helps to keep parents informed and actively involves them in their child’s learning. Please see ‘Homework’ for further information.