Teaching children to read is of the upmost importance at Athelstan Community Primary School. We believe reading is a life enhancing skill that is the entitlement of every child. We do not only teach pupils to read, but we provide a positive approach that encourages children to enjoy books,  finding out information from a variety of sources and sharing stories together.

Phonics are taught daily to all children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1, with the expectation that they will have secured word recognition skills and will be fluent readers by the end of KS1.

Children in our Raindrops and Puddles Nurseries are introduced to Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds programme. This is a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills to children. Phase 1 supports the development of speaking and listening and awareness of sounds. Our aim is to teach children the important basic elements of letters and sounds such as oral segmenting and blending of familiar words.

In Sunshines (FS2) the children learn the alphabetic code. This includes learning letter sounds and shapes, hearing and saying the sounds in words in the correct order and being able to read and write the 44 phonemes or sounds in the English language. They do this through the Letters and Sounds programme and use Jolly Phonics which is a fun and child centred approach where each sound has an action providing a multi-sensory method. This helps them begin to read words and texts.

The children in KS1 continue with daily phonic lessons building on what has already been taught. They also have daily guided reading sessions.

Our core reading scheme is Phonics Bug. These books are phonetically decodable ensuring children are applying the knowledge gained in our Phonic lessons and encouraging them to independently read texts from an early age. Progression is ensured using banded books to both support and challenge through additional fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts for the children to read. These are Oxford Reading Tree, Storyworld, and Ginn 360

We also have Active Learn, Bug Club where children can access e-books at home to further develop their reading and comprehension skills.

Guided reading is taught throughout KS1 and KS2. Teachers plan a series of reading activities to ensure pupils comprehend texts for their age developing sophisticated inference skills as well as reading for pleasure..

Interventions are available for all year groups if children require additional support and assistance in both phonics and reading. As well as early intervention in EYFS with pre reading speech and language interventions.

Reading at home is actively encouraged as strong home-school partnerships are highly beneficial to reading development throughout a child’s time at primary school. For each child to be the best that they can be it is essential that reading is a daily part of homework and life.