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The ability to read opens the door to learning. Phonics (sounds made by a letter or groups of letters) plays a big role in the development of reading and writing in the Early Years of schooling.
 
Stag Lane Primary and Nursery School follows the DfE programme Letters and Sounds to deliver a systematic programme for teaching phonics. This begins the Foundation Stage and continues into Key Stage One, with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. Reading is taught in the following ways:

Phonics Lessons

Phonics is taught daily, in a 20 minute interactive, quick paced lesson. Here pupils are grouped according to their existing phonic knowledge to enable a more personalised approach to learning. Sessions include a mix of practical and visual resources, to provide a multi-sensory experience, where children can practise their reading skills.
 
As from June 2012, children at the end of Year 1 take part in a statutory phonics screening check to identify which children are on track with their phonetic skills. Once pupils have completed the phonics teaching programme, alternative support for spelling materials are put in place to support pupils throughout Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (Key Stage 2).

Guided Reading

Guided Reading is where a text is shared in a small group and phonics, grammar and comprehension skills are taught. Children are grouped by ability and use this weekly session to practise and apply reading strategies. These skills include; learning new vocabulary, predicting what might happen next, using inference or clues in the text to support answers and retelling events to show understanding. Questions around the text allow children to share their thoughts, preferences and understanding of stories, poems and non-fiction books.

Individual Reading

Teachers listen to children read weekly, on a one to one basis. This allows teachers to assess, plan and teach for children’s next steps in their journey to becoming fluent readers.

The Wider School Curriculum

Reading is embedded across the entire curriculum at Stag Lane Primary and Nursery School; from reading problems in Mathematics to researching historical facts. Children practise these skills daily, in every aspect of their learning.

Supporting Children’s Reading at Home

To support children’s reading, two books are sent home weekly. One book is matched to the children’s phonics phase and will support the sounds they have been learning that week. We use books from Pearson’s Bug Club to support this. These range from a variety of stories and non-fiction books. Each book identifies the sounds and tricky words that are practised within the text.

The second is a ‘challenge’ book, which stretches the child’s skills and is selected to develop comprehension (understanding of story plot or information text.) We use a range of texts from publications such Oxford Reading Tree and Colin’s Big Cat series.

Book Corners and School Library

Each classroom has its own reading corner, where a rich variety of books can be found. Classes are also timetabled weekly to visit the School Library. Children are taught how to navigate the library and choose books of interest or those that support their wider learning.