Phonics Teaching at St Mark’s
At St Mark's CE Primary School, we strive to give our pupils the best start in establishing secure foundations in reading. Our primary intent is to create avid readers which we believe is the foundation for any greater depth learner. While phonics and fluency is emphasised in the early teaching of reading, immersive whole-class reading sessions, use challenging texts to ensure our reading curriculum offers ambition and challenge. These sessions help to develop fluency but primarily focus on the contextualisation of language and literary devices. We also prioritise establishing a reading culture in which pupils are encouraged to read widely and for pleasure. It is our intention that by the end of their primary education, all of our pupils will be able to: read fluently, with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education; draw on their knowledge of quality literature to further drive their passion for reading and writing and continue on their journeys as life-long readers.
Skilled word Reading, involves the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. To enable pupils to develop these skills effectively, they are taught a sequence of systematic synthetic phonics teaching; supported using some Jolly Phonics resources such as images that represent the actions to ensure a kinaesthetic approach; inclusive for all our learners. The provision of appropriately sequenced books that practise what the pupils already know develops confidence and fluency through automatic word recognition. The sequence also enables pupils to see the relationship between Reading and Spelling and supports teaching that reinforces the understanding that decoding and encoding are reversible processes. Pupils develop secure oral blending and segmenting skills to help them blend to read and segment to spell as they progress through the sequence. Our pupils enjoy daily phonics lessons as part of a systematic programme; gaining satisfaction from putting their learning into practice in their reading, writing in all curriculum areas and through continuous provision within the early years. Pupils are taught in a stage not age approach to ensure they are well catered for and their needs are being met. Fully decodable books are sent home weekly to practice the Phonics taught in school.
Links to handwriting
In the Reception year, children will be taught to read in print. We will show different representations of all graphemes e.g. capital letters and those with descenders as loops. When modelling letter formation, all letters are seen in isolation in years R-1 but will be modelled with a lead out. When teaching digraphs, these are shown as single letters and additionally modelled as a joined unit of sound to support/challenge all of our learners. This will enable children to be successful writers where others can read their writing and they are ready for joined handwriting in year 2.
Phonics Screening Check
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child's phonics knowledge. It helps the school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils in the country.
How can I help my child?
There are a number of things that parents can do to support early reading skill development.
Let your child see you enjoying reading yourself – they are influenced by you and what you value!
Immerse your child in a love of reading: share books and magazines with your child, take them to the library to choose books and read to them.
Make time for your child to read school books to you regularly – encourage them by pointing to the words and ask them about the story they are reading.
Help your child to practise reading key words and sounds when these are sent.
Communicate with your child’s teacher through their Home/School reading.
Make up nonsense (alien) words for names of toys or things around them.
Use our Letterjoin link to practice letter formation.
Use our Bug Club link to play phonics games and access additional reading books.
If you need support accessing your login details for Letterjoin or Bug Club please contact your class teacher.