Reading & phonics
Reading and Phonics
Approach to Phonics
Phonics is taught as a daily part of learning. Teaching is systematic, high quality and taught in phases across Key Stage 1. As the children move through the key stage, their growing phonological awareness enables them to build on previous learning, applying this to their reading in all areas of the curriculum.
As they move into Key Stage 2, more emphasis is placed on spelling, grammar and punctuation.
1.Phonics screening check
The phonics screening check is administered to children in Year 1, and is usually taken in June. It gives teachers and parents information on how children are progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.
The test has two sections consisting of 40-words. It assesses phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1. The test has real and nonsense words (pseudo words) that consist of sounds taught in phonic sessions.
2. What does it check?
It checks that your child can:
- Sound out and blend graphemes in order to read simple words.
- Read phonically decodable one-syllable and two-syllable words, e.g. cat, sand, windmill.
- Read a selection of nonsense words which are referred to as pseudo words.
3. What are nonsense or pseudo words and why are they included?
These are words that are phonically decodable but are not actual words with an associated meaning e.g. brip, snorb. Pseudo words are included in the check specifically to assess whether your child can decode a word using phonics skills and not their memory.
The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of a monster and they will be asked to tell their teacher what sort of monster it is by reading the word. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have. Crucially, it does not provide any clues, so your child just has to be able to decode it. Children generally find nonsense amusing so they will probably enjoy reading these words.
4. How will my child be scored? Is there a pass mark?
The test is out of 40. For the last few years, the threshold mark (or pass standard) set by the government has been 32 correct answers out of 40.
5. What can I do to help my child?
- Reading the books sent home will help with your child’s phonics and will help them know the sounds within words. Work at your child’s pace. Always be positive and give lots of praise and encouragement.
Approach to Reading
At Ingol CP School we have a multi-sensory approach to reading. We use a combination of phonics-based approaches using the ELS programme, alongside other strategies like being able to equate a letter or letters with a sound, understanding of grammar and word order and an understanding of the meaning being conveyed. The books we use the incorporates a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books and enables the children to read a wide breadth of books. The children have books to read that are closely matched to the phonic phase they are working on in school.
How can you help your child with their reading?
Show an interest in reading and encourage your child to read the books they bring home from school. Spending a few minutes each day reading with your child will make a big difference! It needs to be a happy shared time together not made to feel like hard work. If your child becomes stuck on a word, ask them to try and work it out, silently count to three and if they have not got the word by then, tell them the word to keep the flow of the story going. Offer lots of praise for their efforts. Reading for pleasure is a great way to encourage a life-long love of reading.
Enjoyment of Reading
Reading is promoted as an enjoyable activity in which ‘reading for pleasure’ is fundamental. During the course of a week, children are provided with opportunities in reading for pleasure, sometimes as part of a guided reading session and sometimes as Library time.