At Wisborough Green Primary School, we are passionate about providing children with opportunities to foster and develop a love of reading from the moment they start school. The school is determined that every child will learn to read fluently, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. Children are immersed in a range of different texts and phonics is taught daily to enable our children to develop their understanding of decoding written letters and spoken sounds from Early Years and throughout Key Stage One.
At our school, we use a structured phonics programme called ‘Song of Sounds’ published by Collins. Song of Sounds is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme which runs from Early Years to Year 2. The programme teaches children to read and write by introducing them to the sounds that they can hear in words (phonemes) and their written equivalent (graphemes). Children learn to blend sounds together to read words and segment words in order to spell them.
Song of Sounds is a multi-sensory phonics programme. It is ‘hands on’ and interactive with music, movement and practical activities at its core, to ensure children enjoy the phonics learning process. The programme ensures that children become fluent readers and knowledgeable spellers by the end of Key Stage.
All daily sessions are practical, structured, fast paced and, most importantly, fun:
- Introduction – we sing our song and complete the actions for each sound
- Revisit – we practise previous sounds already taught
- Teach – we teach a new sound
- Practise – practise using the new sounds saying, reading, writing and blending the new sound
- Apply – reading and writing activities and games to support the children apply their understanding.
At Wisborough Green Primary School, our aims for the teaching of phonics are:
- To teach grapheme-phoneme correspondences - the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds
- To teach our children how to blend sounds together to support reading words from that start of their Phonics journey, e.g. the phonemes /c/ /a/ /t/ blend together to make the word “cat”
- To teach our children how to segment words into their individual phonemes to spell and write, e.g. the word “mat” segments into the phonemes /m/ /a/ /t/
- To teach our ‘Tricky Words’ which are key irregular words that children are not able to sound out and must be learnt, e.g. “I”, “me” and “we”
- To use matched decodable texts to ensure that children have the opportunity to apply their phonological knowledge and understanding to read
- To provide opportunities to apply their phonics skills to reading and writing activities across the curriculum.
Alongside the teaching of phonics, we regularly listen to each child read individually and provide a next step for the children to work towards at home and at school. As well as reading to trained members of staff, children also love to read with our volunteer ‘Reading Angels’. Our Big Cat Phonics books for Letters and Sounds closely match our phonics scheme, providing the children with the opportunity to apply their understanding and develop the confidence to make good progress with their reading. Any children making slower progress than expected will receive additional 1:1 support from teachers, teaching assistants and members of the Senior Leadership Team.
Alongside the teaching of phonics, teachers provide a classroom and outdoor environment that encourages children to develop a love of reading. Reception and Year 1 read weekly with their older ‘Buddies’, Reception receive a weekly visit from a ‘Mystery Reader’ and adults read a wide range of texts aloud each day including stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction. Texts are chosen to help develop children's vocabulary, language comprehension and a love of reading. All children have a weekly opportunity to select a library book to read at home, supported by an adult. A Phonics Workshop is provided for all new parents and carers to ensure that they get the best out of their shared reading time to further develop sound and word recognition, range of vocabulary and a desire to read for pleasure.
Throughout Early Years and Key Stage One, we gradually introduce grouped guided reading sessions to support focussed needs and build the children’s understanding of new vocabulary and their comprehension skills. Additionally, our Literacy and English lessons focus on immersing the children in quality whole class texts and the opportunity to develop these skills:
Please see below for some useful links:
Stage 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48uf9I6P2xQ
Stage 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UQHdBMLk-M
Stage 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwluz7yHW0g