The teaching of phonics and reading

Children are taught reading initially by means of a mixture of phonics and word recognition, and progress through a structured reading programme until they are able to read fluently and independently for their own instruction and enjoyment. Guided Reading activities also take place in class to develop the pupil's ability to decode, and to help them understand and interpret texts.

Phonics is taught through the DFE approved programme devised by Twinkl from Nursery to the end of Year 2, which helps children to build up words using their constituent sounds, and also helps them with recognising spelling patterns. Twinkl Spelling and Grammar materials which build on the Phonics programme are also used in Years 3 & 4.

We use a variety of reading schemes in school - the basic scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, but we also use Collins Big Cat, Ginn and Heinemann's Storyworld books to give breadth and additional practice for pupils who are not quite ready to progress to the next level. The books are specifically linked to the phase of Phonics that the children are learning at the time to enable them to make the maximum amount of progress in reading. 

We also have a wide range of picture books, fiction and non-fiction from well known children's authors in each classroom in order to give children the opportunity to develop their own tastes in reading.

Children take home a daily Reading record, and parents are strongly encouraged to hear them read and talk about their books daily. The records are used as a means of communication between home and school so that parents and teachers can work together to help the children learn.

 Standards in Reading at Whitley Chapel are high, and we almost always exceed the National and Local expectations in this subject.