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Phonics at St Andrew’s

Our phonics journey begins as soon as the children start school in Reception. Phonics is taught systematically using a range of engaging ways to make the learning fun and memorable. Phonics sessions are taught daily in Reception and Year 1 and are made up of revising sounds, learning new sounds, playing games and reading and writing, following the Letters and Sounds programme. We aim to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge. There are six phases which are taught from Reception through to Year two. Children are taught the different sounds that letters make as well as different combinations. Please see the video on St Andrew’s TV (on the homepage) to listen to how each sound is pronounced. The children also progress through the high frequency word lists and these are words that they learn to read and spell.  Sessions also cover how to segment words into their separate sounds as well as how to blend words together to make words.

In June, all Year 1 children will be expected to undertake a statutory Phonics Screening Check. The aim of this is to check that each child is making the expected progress in phonics and using their skills to decode unfamiliar words when reading. The check comprises of a list of forty words, both real and nonsense, which each child reads one to one with a teacher. The children get to practice this several times across the year so they are familiar with the process and parents will be notified of their child’s progress. For any children that do not pass the check, they will receive extra support and resit in Year 2. If they do not pass the check in Year 2, They will receive specific phonic interventions in Year 3. For more information about the Phonics Screening Check, please click the link of the top of this page.

Reading at St Andrew’s

At St Andrew’s, we are passionate about providing an inspiring curriculum with quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts mapped out across all year groups. We are committed to developing a love for reading by sharing texts at every opportunity. Our school was short listed for a national Reading for Pleasure award and more about this can be found by clicking the link at the top of this page. Reading weaves throughout our entire curriculum, from daily explicit reading lessons to exploring a range of texts linked directly to the pupils’ topics of study and all children will be read to regularly. In our reading lessons, we focus on the skills you need to become a successful reader. These are displayed in every classroom as a reading jigsaw, as seen below.

reading jigsaw

Pupils are encouraged to read at home, after all reading is not only an absolute necessity for learning and life but also a pleasurable experience. Children take reading books home on a daily basis.  We have a system in place for changing books. In KS1, each child changes their home reading book on a Monday. Parents and carers are encouraged to read this book each night to build up fluency. On a Friday, the children get to choose and take home a library book that they can share over the weekend. This is to expose them to a range of quality literature. In KS2 children can change their reading book when they need to and in some cases library books can be used as reading books. Our expectation is that children read at home ats much as possible every week.  Each child is given a Reading Record for the parents to use. The teacher monitors these in order to ensure children are reading at home and also to gain information about other books that children may have access to at home.  We carry out three parent reading workshops a year and a specific phonics workshop for KS1 parents.


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