If children are to develop as competent, fluent readers it is essential that they have secure understanding of letters and sounds. Phonic skills are essential to developing competent and assertive readers. At Froxfield, the DfE recommended Letters and Sounds programme forms the basis of our phonics teaching. From Reception, children will learn all the 44 sounds and their corresponding graphemes. They will be explicitly taught the skill of oral blending, which is vital for the initial stages of early reading. Children will rapidly progress to blending sounds together to help them read CVC words and will continue to learn digraph and trigraph sounds throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. As children become confident at blending sounds, they are taught the skill of blending sounds mentally and at speed. This consistent and rigorous approach will provide our children with the foundations to become enthused readers with a passion for storytelling, literature and vocabulary.
At Froxfield, we believe that it is vital for children to learn to read confidently in order for them to become independent learners. We aim to develop a rich reading culture throughout the school through teacher modelling, a well-resourced school library, vocabulary rich displays, high quality texts, and inviting reading areas and displays.
Reading is a crucial life-skill and, at Froxfield CE School, we strongly believe that reading broadly and frequently increases pupils’ vocabulary due to them encountering words they would rarely hear or use in everyday spoken language. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-chest of wonder and joy for curious young minds. We know that it is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject, to be successful in their secondary education.
Through our reading-rich curriculum, which is based on high quality and engaging text drivers that are suitable to children’s age, ability and experiences, we endeavour to develop a life-long love for reading in our children. We place a great emphasis on listening to and enjoying stories, with children having access to a wide range of children’s books and authors as they move through the school.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children take home a reading book that is carefully matched to their phonics knowledge and can be read independently, and a library book to be shared and enjoyed with an adult.
In Key Stage two, children are encouraged to regularly take home a book that matches their reading ability as well as their choice of library books each week. As children become free readers, they are then able to select books from home and the library to read. Teachers will guide the children’s choice of books to ensure breath, balance and challenge, introducing children to a range of authors and genre.
Children may be given home learning tasks to support with their reading comprehension. A reading diary is provided to all children as a place where parents, staff and children can comment on their progress in reading.
Phonics and Spelling
At Froxfield CE School we follow the systematic, synthetic phonics programme, Little Wandle. Children are taught daily phonics throughout EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 and children are taught to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step. Through teaching synthetic phonics, children learn the English alphabet code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then they learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. Children generally move from phonics teaching onto a structured spelling programme in Year 2.
Competent writers must have the necessary secretarial skills as well as the vocabulary, understanding of language and experience around which to experiment with the written word. Writing is taught through the use of quality text drivers, which create a purpose for writing and the skills of spelling, handwriting and grammar and punctuation are taught discretely and children then apply their skills through motivating and creative writing tasks covering a wide range of genres. Writing tasks are generally linked to cross curricular topics and texts to ensure pupils can apply their skills in a range of contexts.
Handwriting is taught from Reception using a pre-cursive style, and children begin joining letters from Year 1. Pupils have regular opportunities to practise handwriting skills throughout the week to develop a clear, fluent style.
English Lead: Mrs Farrow