Phonics and Reading
At St Julie’s Primary School we are committed to the delivery of excellence in the teaching of Phonics. We aim to develop each child so that they are able to read with fluency as well as develop a love of reading that will stay with our children all their lives.
We use the systematic and structured Phonics Programme Floppy’s Phonics. Floppy’s Phonics is in line with the Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) teaching principles described in the ‘English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 – National curriculum in England’ which is statutory from September 2014.
The Floppy’s Phonics programme teaches the letter/s-sound correspondences of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading and spelling. It includes the characters of Floppy the dog, Biff, Chip and Kipper and their family and friends, which engages children fully for the phonics teaching & learning, vocabulary enrichment and language comprehension.
Initially children's listening skills are developed through the use of music, environmental sounds and rhyme. During their journey through the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 they are taught the 44 phonemes (sounds) that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter 'b as in bed' and those that are made by two 'ai as in rain or three letters 'igh as in high'.
Children are taught the key skills of blending sounds together for reading and segmenting (breaking up) words for spelling.
As the children grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, eg 'ee' can be represented as 'ee, as in bee', 'ea as in tea', 'e-e as in theme' and 'e as in we'. They also learn when to apply simple spelling rules and use verbs in the correct tense.
We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable. In Reception to Year 2, children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, explore, practise and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.
We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, grapheme tiles, speaking and listening, and practical activities. Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the whole curriculum
Learning to read: supporting your child at home
Learning to read is one of the most important skills that your child will develop over the next few years. The more support and encouragement that you can offer your child, the more likely that he or she will progress with enthusiasm and ease.
To reinforce the teaching in school, your child may bring home some books to share with you. These may be:
- Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and LettersBooks, to practise the sounds and letters taught at school
- Biff, Chip and Kipper Stories, for language development and enrichment. We may also send home Grapheme and Picture Tiles, Activity Sheets and Say the Sounds Posters for your child to practise phonics at home. Any of these simple resources will come with full instructions, and your child’s teacher will be able to answer any questions you have. This series supports the programme we are using in school.
- All the books have notes on the inside cover to guide you on how best to use them with your child.
We may also send home Grapheme and Picture Tiles, Activity Sheets and Say the Sounds Posters for your child to practise phonics at home. Any of these simple resources will come with full instructions, and your child’s teacher will be able to answer any questions you have.
Y1 Phonics Screening Check
The Phonics Screening Check is meant to show how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify students who need extra phonics help. The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about four to nine minutes to complete.
The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or alien words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters. The teacher administering the check with your child will give them a few practice words to read first – including some non-words – so they understand more about what they have to do. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster / alien, as if the word were their name (and so your child doesn't think the word is a mistake because it doesn't make sense
In EYFS and Year 1, children will bring home a phonically decodable reading book for adult supported practice at home, as well as having access to online books on Oxford Owl and Bug Club.
All children will also have access to a library of books, and class books known as reading for pleasure books, these books should be enjoyed with an adult at home.
In Year 2 to Year 6 children will home a range of different books from the book band that they have been allocated by the class teacher. They also have access to online books on Bug Club
Please ensure these resources are brought back into school every day to allow us to continue to support your child's reading develpoment seamlessly between home and school
Reading Online – The Bug Club (ActiveLearn)
If you have access to an internet connection, your child can enjoy reading Bug Club books online as well as in print. Each child has a unique homepage and can log into it by following these steps:
- Go to activelearnprimary.co.uk
- Enter the login details.
- Your child’s homepage will appear.
All children have received usernames and passwords for Active Learn and should now all be familiar accessing the site. If you do not have your child’s username and password, please email the school office and we will let your child know their details
Our 'Reading Spine' is one element of the approach we take to foster a love for reading in our children. The spine is a core of books that create a living library inside our children's minds. It is a store of classics and essential reads that help our children engage at a deeper level and enter the world of the story. We have produced our very own 'Reading Spine' for every year group; giving children access to these high-quality texts.
Ultimately, while our children are continuing to enjoy a range of books throughout their school journey, they are also learning to become meta-cognitive readers.
We use the reading spine books in every year group over the school year. From you child starting in Reception at St Julie's Catholic Primary School, to leaving in Year 6, they will have been immersed into 50 of the most fantastic book available to children!
Books and reading are at the heart of learning in our school and within our library areas !