Phonics and Reading
The ability to read fluently underpins all learning across the curriculum. With this in mind we prioritise the teaching of reading as a vital part of our curriculum at St Hilda’s. We use Lancashire Red Rose Phonics which is to develop a broader range of reading skills, coupled with a love of books and literature. Children read regularly in school, and support their learning by reading selected books at home.
In our EYFS and Key Stage 1 classes all children are provided with a daily phonics session. We follow a sequenced phonics programme to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, building children’s phonic knowledge with clear progression. Books offered to children in the early stages are fully decodable using the phonics they have been taught. This provides a structure which enables children to practise and embed their decoding skills. As their reading skills develop, children progress through a structured programme of books which are colour banded.
In addition to phonics sessions, children are taught to read by different methods, including small group guided reading sessions, whole-class reading lessons and one-to-one reading with an adult who may be a teacher or teaching assistant. These sessions develop skills such as fluency, comprehension, stamina and the ability to use varied texts in different ways.
Each classroom has its own library which is stocked with a range of fiction and non-fiction books. Children use these books to read for pleasure, to support their curriculum learning and to develop their own interests. Classrooms also have a book corner or reading area where children can take time to read independently in a special, pleasant environment.
St Hilda’s also has a central school library. Classes are able to visit the library and children can borrow books to read in class or take home, recommending favourite titles to each other. We consider ourselves to be a ‘reading school’ where reading is celebrated by children and staff alike. We value our daily read-aloud sessions, when class teachers read a range of high-quality texts to children. These sessions offer children access to more challenging age-appropriate material, allowing them to indulge in the pleasures of the written word.
Children’s progress in reading is carefully assessed and monitored throughout their time at St Hilda’s, and those who may need additional support have access to a range of intervention programmes appropriate to their individual need.