Phonics and reading schemes in Key Stage One
In Key Stage One we follow the letters and sounds phonics reading scheme.
In your child's first week in school we will assess their ability to reading a range of phonics and how well they can blend these phonics (sounds) to make words. These are the very building blocks of reading.
When we have assessed the children they will be assigned an appropriate phonics group and teacher who will teach phonics in a small group on a daily basis. The children are routinely assessed as they taught and at the end of every half term we complete a full phonics assessment again to identify how much progress they have made and where we can support them if necessary.
Groups will then be adjusted if necessary.
We know how important reading is and if your child is not progressing quickly through their phonics work, please do not worry. Some children can find it physically difficult to say the correct sounds. Blending sounds together to make words is notoriously difficult as well. Those children who need extra support will receive it in class in addition to their daily phonics lesson. You may also be given a pack of specific sounds that your child should work on. Often there is a lightbulb moment when children, in particular in Reception, will suddenly understand and begin to put all the sounds together to make words and before too long they will be reading.
Please be reassured that we will not leave any children floundering and struggling. We are proud that our phonics screening test results in Year 1 are exceptional and we will ensure that your child is getting the correct support with the aim that they can read by the end of Year 1.
The children in Key Stage One will follow the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme. They will be given reading books which will closely follow the same phonics sounds that they have been learning in their phonics sessions. They will also contain a number of high frequency words which the children will need to be able to know by sight in order to develop their reading. These words often cannot be sounded out phonetically.
It is important that you listen to your child read on a regular basis. Routine is vital in order to make progress. It is also important to read to your child. Reading a range of different books will not only increase their vocabulary but will ensure that children learn to see reading as something that is enjoyable. The more children love books, the faster they will learn.
You should record what the children have read in their reading record. Likewise when the children are heard read in school their teacher will make a note of how well they did and where they got up to. Books are changed as and when they are needed.
Please do not become concerned about where your child is on the reading scheme. It is not a race and the child on stage 5 is not necessarily 'doing better' than the child on stage 4. What is important is that your child is on the correct stage for them and our teachers in school are the ones who will make that judgement.