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English - Reading (including phonics)

Early Reading at Kew Riverside

Our phonics teaching is embedded within our rich reading curriculum. We believe that this enables new knowledge, skills and strategies to be contextualised and applied meaningfully. All children in Reception and Key Stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions that teach them to recognise letters, understand the sound they make and how to blend and segment these sounds to create words. Alongside this, children are taught to read ‘tricky’ (common exception words) which are not phonically regular.

We follow the guidance and progression set out within the Primary National Strategy’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ whilst also ensuring we meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. Letters and Sounds is a six-phase progressive phonics programme which aims to equip children with the phonic knowledge and skills they need to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Cued Articulation, a set of hand cues/actions for teaching individual sounds, is also used when introducing children to new sounds to children. We aim for all children to have a secure understanding of phonics by the end of Year 1, with monitoring of knowledge into Year 2 and swift, targeted interventions are put in place for struggling readers.

We use a selection of highly evaluated reading schemes including Big Cat Phonics and Word Sparks to support our phonics teaching. These books are levelled into graded bands, matched to the Letters and Sounds phonics phases, which introduce children to new words gradually, so that children can progress through the books in line with their phonics lessons. These books also contain strongly patterned language and picture cues to support beginning readers, helping them to achieve early success.

We want our children to swiftly develop their word reading skills, as once mastered, this enables them to read with automaticity and fluency. Once children become more fluent readers, they are then able to then focus their attention on comprehending what they read, concentrating on the meaning of a text. We aim for children to be competent decoders by the end of Key Stage 1 with children gaining fluency and automaticity in their reading as they move into Key Stage 2.