Phonics

At Kings’ Forest Primary School we teach synthetic phonics throughout the school. We follow the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ programme which provides a structured and systematic approach to the teaching of phonics. It aims for children to develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling by the end of Key Stage One. Your child’s class teacher will be able to tell you which set they are working in. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, using Read, Write, Inc to introduce sounds to the children. Children will then learn further sounds in line with Read, Write, Inc progression. In order to support children to make the most progress in phonics, they are organised into groups from Year One through to Year Four. Regular assessment is carried out and these groups remain fluid to ensure that children can move between groups as needed. Phonics is taught to children in Year Five and Year Six, where needed, through the ‘Fresh Start Phonics’ programme.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

In 2011-2012 the government introduced the statutory checking of phonics for Year One children. The Year One Phonics Screening Check is a national check of children’s phonic knowledge that all children in England are required to complete. The check comprises of a mixture of real and nonsense words which children have to decode/read. The check takes place at the end of Year One. An example of the check published by the Department for Education can be viewed below:

media.education.gov.uk/phonics.pdf

How can I help?

We are really grateful to all of our parents who spend time supporting the education of their child at home, and reading is one of the key areas where parents can help. The earlier children are exposed to books, the better they will perform with their reading, as well as with their use of their imagination and ability to be creative. We have provided links to the following websites which can provide activities and advice about how to use phonics at home.

www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/sound-pronunciation-guide  – This video demonstrates how to pronounce pure sounds from Set 1 Sounds through to Set 3. At home, recapping pure sounds with your child would benefit their knowledge of the different sounds.

www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ParentsMenu – This is a website which is packed with interactive phonics games, interactive activities, ideas and resources to help your child to learn to hear, recognise and read different sounds and words, including nonsense words (alien words).

www.ictgames.com/literacy – This is another website which is packed with interactive phonics games, interactive activities, ideas and resources which match to an objective. These games and activities will support your child with learning to recognise and read different sounds and words.

Reading

All children are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also feeds children’s imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

Phonics is the first approach to teaching Reading. By the end of Year Six, children will have developed strategies to read most words effortlessly and to work out how to pronounce unfamiliar words with automaticity. At Kings’ Forest we use the Power of Reading approach to enthuse and inspire children as readers. Teachers teach two Power of Reading lessons each week which engages children in the literacy curriculum through using high quality books and proven teaching approaches. From Year Two – Year Six we also follow a three-day Reading cycle, where children’s reading and higher order comprehension skills are incrementally developed.

At Kings’ Forest we use the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme to monitor and manage children’s independent reading practice.   Your child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. Accelerated Reader gives the children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which your child’s teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.

At Kings’ Forest we encourage a love of books and enable children to take books home to share with their parents. Children take two reading books home; one which matches their reading level and the other which is a free choice book. Children have the opportunity to change their reading book every day from our school library (12 until 2pm).

How can I help?

We appreciate the help and support from all of our parents who read with their child or children at home. Research has shown that one of the biggest indicators of success in a child’s life is whether or not they have books in the home. Your child has the opportunity to bring home two books, which we encourage you to read with your child at home. As a parent, try to focus on making reading fun and enjoyable rather than getting bogged down in trying to teach nitty gritty skills. There are many, many different things that you can do. Here are just a few:

Let your child see you reading – This can be a newspaper, magazine, anything you like. This is a powerful message to send to your child so go on, put your feet up for 10 minutes and have a read.

Read something with your child – It doesn’t need to be a book. The secret is to find something that your child is desperate to read – comics, magazines, football programmes, newspapers, internet pages, texts, e-mails, catalogues etc. If you are reading books together you could ask your child’s school what Book Band your child is reading at (this will be a colour) and choose a book from this band. However, never underestimate that power of a book that a child really, really wants to read, even if it is too hard for them. If they are very keen to read a particular tricky book then go for it and just help them out when they need it.

Talk about what they are reading (Accelerated Reader book and free choice book) – Talk before you start. Talk whilst you are reading. Talk after you have finished. Ask questions throughout. Here are some questions that you might like to ask your child, during or after their reading time at home. Comprehension Questions to Download