Hollingbourne Primary School
Hollingbourne | Maidstone | ME17 1UA

Teaching of phonics

Early Years:

Within Early Years children are taught phonics which are short 15 minute sessions following the Letters and Sounds programme. Letters and Sounds follows a fun and practical approach to learning phoneme, enabling the children to see, say hear and write sounds to aid reading and writing. We start off by listening to the initial sounds in words and the formation of the letters before moving on reading and writing cvc and ccvc words. Once the children are secure in their sound knowledge we move onto reading and understanding simple captions and sentences. The children will use their phonic knowledge when they are reading to sound out a word and then blending it as well as with their writing where they will segment the word into individual sounds.

Key Stage One and Key Stage Two:

Phonics is taught through Letters and Sounds which is a systematic synthetics phonics programme designed to help children become fluent readers by the end of the Key Stage. We focus upon teaching high quality phonics using blending and segmenting.  This enables us to teach the children correspondences between written language (graphemes) and spoken language (phonemes).  These correspondences can then help children to read and spell words.

Teaching of reading

Early Years:

The teaching of reading begins with wordless books allowing the children to practice their story telling skills. Once the children become secure with some of their phase 2 sounds we will begin sending out books with words. Your child will have their book changed regularly, however, we like children to read their books several times to become really familiar with the text.  This may seem repetitive, however, research suggests that this constant repetition will help consolidate your child's reading and understanding of the words. Later in the year when the children are more settled the children will begin guided reading session which will be taught over 5 sessions a week. These activities will include:
-reading an appropriately levelled book with an adult, being extended through questioning to check understanding. 
-reading their independent reading book with an adult.
-free reading where the children can choose a book to enjoy.
-appropriately levelled activities allowing the children to practice their reading and to check their understanding.

Key Stage One and Key Stage Two:

Children are taught reading skills by accessing high quality texts within Whole Class Guided Reading sessions. These sessions are completed daily in every class.  They contain a range of different reading material where teachers expertly teach the children to understand a range of specifics within each text.  These include exploring a range of vocabulary and its meaning; using inference skills to understand and navigate a range of texts; predict what may happen next within a given text; explanation of the text and their views and opinions; retrieve information they have read from the text and be able to summarise chapters read using their own words to precis.

The texts are carefully chosen by each teacher to ensure children have access to a range of different genre styles and a mixture of both fiction and non-fiction texts.  Teachers also use their knowledge of their class as well as other supporting factors to ensure that children are exposed to texts they may not otherwise choose independently.  Additionally, texts that increase children's understanding and knowledge of the wider world, for example, texts involving different cultures, countries, religions, ethnicity - a range of diverse topics to engage the children and help them further their knowledge of the world in which they live.