At Newton Hill Community School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.
We are currently implementing Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons.
In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. At Newton Hill Community School we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
In addition to these basic reading skills the teaching of phonics is a key focus at Newton Hill Community School for our developing readers and writers. We ensure that all children in our Foundation Stage and Year 1 classes are taught phonic skills through a daily discrete phonic lesson. This develops the child's ability to tackle unknown words within a text by blending the phonemes (sounds) within the word. These phonic skills also enable a child to work out the phonemes they will need to use when they are writing words. Year 2 will continue with daily phonics sessions for those groups or individuals which require more support.
The phonic lessons are structured to ensure that children are first able to identify letters and to say the sound those letters make. Once children are confident with saying the single letter sounds and blending them to create words, they then start to learn the common digraphs (where two letters go together to create a new phoneme such as ‘sh’), trigraphs (where three letters create a new phoneme such as ‘igh’) and spelling patterns that we use within the English language.
Supporting your child's reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. There are TWO types of books your children may bring home.
READING PRACTICE BOOK: this has been carefully matched to your child's current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please do not worry that it may seem easy - your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise and to celebrate their successes! If they can't read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
SHARING BOOK: In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong learner, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn't expect them to read this on their own. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for characters, explore the facts in the non-fiction books. The main thing is you have fun together!
At Newton Hill Community School, the key objectives in our phonic and reading lessons are that children are taught to:
- love books and enjoy listening to stories, poems and rhymes.
- read and write letter-sound correspondences quickly.
- decode effortlessly, spell and handwrite easily.
- comprehend what they read.
- read with fluency and expression.
- write confidently using oral rehearsal.
- work effectively with a partner or within a group to articulate their learning at every step.