Phonics & Reading
Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what's printed on the page.
Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read.
Reading supports children throughout the curriculum and is essential to success in life - to read opens so many doors. We strongly encourage families to read with and to their children daily in order to support their development and their love for reading!
Phonics and Early Reading
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read.
Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words.
Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.
Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.
How is Phonics Taught?
At St Patrick's we use Read, Write, Inc (RWI) as our phonics scheme to teach children to read, and write. Your child's teacher or phonics group leader can tell you which group they are in.
Video Link: What is RWI phonics?
When supporting your child with their phonics it is essential that you use pure sounds. You can find a pronunciation support video here to help you. Some free RWI ebooks can be found on the Oxford Owl website - click here. Further information for parents can be found by clicking here.
In school, we have developed Reading Guides to support 1:1 reading with our children. We have a focus on fluency, automaticity and prosody in school.
Whilst children are still learning phonics, they will read decodable books matched to their phonics group. Our focus for reading is decoding and fluency - to build automaticity.
One children graduate from their phonics lessons, children will access levelled books and any 1:1 reading will continue to build on the skills of fluency, automaticity and prosody to support children to build comprehension skills.
Please contact us if you would like to see our Reading Guides.
Snuggle Up With A Book
Each Friday, children in EYFS & Key Stage 1 take home our 'Snuggle Up With A Book' bag and a sachet of hot chocolate. Families are encouraged to snuggle up and read the book aloud to children over the weekend.
Please bring the book and bag back on Monday - ready for the next child to enjoy the following week. And - don't forget to send us a picture on Seesaw to share your experience!
Each class has their own Repeated Text Library. During their time in class, children will become familiar with these books and will know and learn them as well as be able to retell, discuss and love them!
Stories to enjoy at home
These links will take you to some digital and audio books to read and/or listen to at home
The free Oxford Owl ebook library can also support you with more stories to read at home: https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/free-ebooks/
Talking about stories and reading is just as important as reading itself.
You can find useful information and support about 'book chat' by clicking here.
You can visit the Oak National Academy Virtual Library here:
School Library & Local Library Visits
We are very proud of our school library. All children are welcomed to take home books from our school library to read with an adult at home!
This year we have also been visiting the local library. Every class in Key Stages 1 & 2 will visit before the end of the academic year and will be able to have the opportunity to sign up to the library service and borrow books.