Reading and phonics
Becoming a fluent reader:
Learning to read is an essential life skill which is given the highest priority at Our Lady’s School. This is reflected in our above average reading results at the end of Year 6. We do not have one reading scheme that we follow but a mixture of books from a variety of sources to cater for all abilities and interests.
All our books are colour coded with a wide range of choice in each colour band. These books are read alongside the Read-Write-Inc phonics books which are used in daily phonics in Key Stage 1. As well as reading books we encourage our children to read newspapers, magazines, even teletext and subtitles on TV!
In Key Stage 2, we have reading lists which are designed to help parents choose books which will challenge the children. We have also introduced accelerated reader which helps to monitor that children are reading and understanding their books. The children should know which colour codes to read from and these correspond to book levels.
To find out how hard a book is you can use the Accelerated Book Finder Website.
How can you help?
- Try to make time to listen to your child read
- Talk to your child about their book
- Ask questions so that your child has to think about what they are reading
- Let your child see how important reading is by reading yourself, whether it is books, magazines, newspapers etc
- Read to your child, whether it is a bedtime story or a funny/interesting article in the newspaper
Don't forget to sign your child's reading diary and look at their colour coded book mark so you know what reading skills your child is learning.
What is phonics?
There is no one 'right way' of learning to read but at Our Lady’s we know that being able to recognise the sounds that letters make and how sounds go together to make words is really important. This is called 'phonics'. We follow the Ruth Miskin – Read-Write-Inc Phonics scheme starting from reception and until the children can read fluently.
In Early Years Foundation Stage children learn phonics together to start with but break into groups depending on their progression from the Autumn half term. In Years 1 and 2 children work in small groups depending on their ability. This means that they may be working with children who are older or younger than themselves. Our phonics sessions take place every Monday to Thursday morning, straight after break time. In Years 3 to 6 children have a variety of activities which include phonics, spelling and grammar work included in their Literacy lessons.
The following site has some very useful help. The Ruth Miskin Video is particularly helpful as she wrote Red, Write, Inc. There is also a very useful section which shows what sound each phoneme makes.
Please use these reading lists to help support your child with their reading. There are three lists for each year with List A being the easiest and List C the hardest. The children are welcome to work between years so for example there is no harm in a year 2 child starting on the year 3 list.