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Approach to Reading and Phonics
Holy Cross Catholic Primary School has benefited from the training given by the literacy consultant Ann Smallberger who is linked with the Knowledge Transfer Centre. We have watched and learned from good practice in phonics and early reading to improve our teaching of reading and writing. This approach is based closely on the letters and sounds document. Holy Cross is also a Reading Recovery school and all our support staff are trained in Better Reading Partners to help children make rapid progress in reading.
Our reading scheme
All children have a reading book to share at home with parents. All the books in the reading scheme are graded according to difficulty base on Reading Recovery levels and ‘Book bands’. The children’s reading abilities are regularly assessed individually and in guided groups so they can move through the scheme at their own pace. Children are also encouraged to read books of their own choice including library books and to listen to stories so they can develop a passion for reading.
All children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have daily phonics sessions. The training from Ann Smalberger has supported the school’s approach to teaching phonics. All children work through the following phases to ensure they become confident and effective readers and writers:
- Phase 1 focuses on everyday sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and orally segmenting and blending.
- Phase 2 focuses on learning all single sounds and how to read and write them in words.
- Phase 3 focuses on learning simple digraph and trigraph sounds and applying these to words and sentences (for example, igh, oo, ear and er)
- Phase 4 focuses on learning adjacent consonants in words (for example, fl, pr, cr and st)
- Phase 5 focuses on learning alternative digraph and trigraph sounds and applying these to words and sentences (for example, ie, ph, oe and ai)