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There is a strong emphasis on reading and phonics in Key Stage 1, which gives children the necessary building blocks to become confident and independent learners.
Phonics is an important part of the curriculum in EYFS, year 1 and year 2, to ensure a progressive and secure development of early reading skills enabling all children to decode words effectively. Child learn the skills of blending sounds for reading and segmenting words for spelling.
Inkpen infants are taught phonics in discrete daily lessons as well as making links in other areas of the curriculum, for example using their phonics to spell words to label pictures in topic work. The children are encouraged to notice words within their environment and be curious about what they say.
We use the ‘Monster Phonics’ programme which ‘covers all the statutory requirements of the DfE Letters and Sounds and the KS1 National curriculum for synthetic phonics-based reading and writing’.
Monster Phonics uses characters, colours, songs and actions to make phonics teaching and learning exciting and memorable. The children are excited to learn and look forward to lessons, wondering which character they will be learning with in each lesson.
Progress in phonics is constantly monitored so that learning can be tailored to the needs of individual children as we at Inkpen, appreciate that young children learn at different rates using a range of learning styles. We are fortunate in that we have small classes with mixed year groups enabling children to benefit from both peer and ability groupings.
All children are assessed towards the end of year 1 using the Phonics Screening Check. This is a simply a 1:1 assessment with the class teacher that allows the children to demonstrate their blending skills to read a mix of real words and pseudo-words (made up words). For more information see the link below.
Phonics links for parents:
Once reading is established, children are encouraged to read as much and as widely as possible progressing up the school’s banded reading scheme. Each book band contains the whole range of genre with books from published schemes, well known authors and recommended primary book lists.
The most effective way of teaching reading from this point forward, is through small group guided reading sessions, with a member of staff. Your child will therefore read regularly with their class teacher within a guided group. Sometimes it is also necessary for children to have “Catch up” reading sessions, which they will then receive on a 1:1 basis.
Spelling is taught throughout the school in a way that gradually builds upon the skills that the children have already learnt. Spelling patterns are then taught and revisited throughout the school in increasingly complexity.
Writing is taught to the children through units of work that explore a range of different genre, both fiction and non-fiction, which increase in variety as the child progresses up the school. Within writing units, children are given the opportunity to read and analyse good examples of these texts, using them as a basis for their own writing. Also included, on a regular basis, are grammar lessons, where children are taught and given the chance to practise new skills.
"We learn at different paces, but never stop"
quote from Red Kite class