At St Joseph’s we are dedicated to creating a reading culture where all children develop a love of reading and the word. Reading is the key to the door to all future learning.
The children begin to read in Reception class where they will be provided with a reading book which will be ‘changed’ on a weekly basis. All children will be heard reading by an adult in the setting at least weekly. The school uses the Oxford Reading Tree books alongside other books linked to phonics phase and stage. We track the books that have been read on record sheets linked to book band colours. This information is passed onto the next class to show progress year on year and kept in the teachers ‘reading folder’. Once the children are proficient, they can move onto ‘free readers’ where they can select books from the class reading area or school library.
Recently, the school has subscribed to e-libraries where each class has a login to the Oxford Owls site. The books will be allocated by ability and teachers will still keep track of the books read for future reference.
We use a reward system to promote reading at home. This is known as Out of This World Reading. Each time the children are recorded as reading at home, they get a point. Once they get 10 points they move up the planets. When they achieve 100 reads, they receive a certificate.
School also recognised the teachers decision to have ‘reader of the month’. This is where we celebrate a child who has shown great dedication to their own reading. Their photograph is taken and displayed for all to see.
The profile of reading was raised most recently with the addition of daily Whole Class Reading sessions, Reading Club where children and their families can access the school library to read their book or access the books on our library, a Super Star Reading Club to support those children who did not always have opportunities to read at home and with the addition of Beau and Autumn, our school Reading dogs to help support reluctant readers and those with SEND.
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, we use the Letters and Sounds programme of study to support the teaching of Phonics throughout Early Years, KS1 and into KS2 where gaps in Phonic knowledge are identified (this identification may be through Lexia baseline assessment – see SEND for more information on this)
The rigorous teaching of phonics is key to developing the skills required in order to learn to read. Reading is indeed a journey and our reading journey begins in Nursery. The children in Nursery develop their communication and language skills, as described in the Development Matters document, with exposure to sounds in the environment, nursery rhymes and stories. Our Early Years Foundation Stage is specifically designed to reflect the richness of language. The environment is designed to underpin the teaching and learning . We begin Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds help promote skills in listening, speaking and sound discrimination. Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds begins in the Spring Term where the children begin to make connections between the spoken sound (the phoneme) and the written/visual representation of that sound (the grapheme).
In Reception the children cover phonic phases 2-4. Additionally, Jolly Phonics songs and actions are used to support the teaching of new phonemes. Year 1 children cover phases 4 and 5. These children will undergo a Phonics Screening test within the Summer Term of Year 1. The children who do not pass the screen will have another chance to sit this in Year 2. In Year 2 the children learn the phonemes in phase 5 and 6. They will then move onto more formal spelling strategies linked to Spelling Frame.
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are tracked using Phonics Tracker. This online tracking system allows teachers to assess the child’s phonic ability, identify gaps in learning and fill those gaps with bespoke homework and worksheets designed to move the learning on quickly.
*COVID19 – due to time away from school, St Joseph’s have decided to continue to teach phonics in Year 3 and 4 this year.