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Phonics & Reading Schemes

Phonics

Why phonics? 
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to: 

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; 
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’;  
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. 

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. 

Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  

Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. 

Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia. 

At Our Lady’s we teach phonics using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme -a resource published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Reading

In Reception and Key Stage 1, Our Lady's uses the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. This offers progressive reading books with familiar characters so children can build their confidence and ability to read independently and effectively.

For more information on reading and writing at Our Lady's please see our English curriculum page.

How we develop children to to be readers and writers

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