At St Saviour’s we encourage children to fall in love with reading. We want them to develop a positive attitude towards reading and recognise that it is an important life skill. We hope that children value reading as an enjoyable activity but also understand that they can read for information.
Initially we teach reading through phonics. At St. Saviour’s we follow the government programme of teaching phonics and in Foundation Stage we use Jolly Phonics to support the government programme. Children are taught to split words into sounds (segment) and put sounds together to make words (blend). In Foundation Stage and Year One, children are taught phonics four times a week. In Year Two, children are taught once a week. In Key Stage Two, children who need extra support are taught individually or in intervention groups. Our phonics lessons follow the same structure across the school, and this structure is also used to teach spelling rules from Year Two upwards. We also teach ‘tricky’ words which are not phonetically plausible within phonics lessons. Children are encouraged to use their phonetic knowledge and understanding in reading and writing. We find that the children are more confident at using a range of engaging vocabulary in their writing thanks to their phonetic skills, knowledge and understanding.
Beyond phonics, one of the main ways we teach reading is through guided reading. The children have the opportunity to read a wide variety of texts in small groups and explore them in detail. This is done with adults and then as they grow in independence we encourage the children to lead the groups, with an adult present, asking each other probing questions around the text. Children are taught according to their individual needs and we have a wide variety of texts, fiction and nonfiction for this.
The teaching of reading also filters into many other areas of learning and is taught in a wide variety of contexts. For example, children read for information in topic based lessons. We have recently developed our classroom libraries and invested in some new books, which were chosen by the children. There are up to date engaging books in all classrooms which the children enjoy reading.