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Phonics and Reading at The Hythe

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Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception)

In Reception, while we wait for the 'Letters & Sounds' scheme outlined by the government for phonics to be updated, we are using Bug Club phonics. Phonics sounds and Jolly Phonics actions will be sent home with children weekly.

For reading in Reception, we allow a few weeks to get to know the children and plan activities to ensure children can talk about books in the first instance. Guided Reading is started before individual reading books are given out, teaching the basic conventions of a book, e.g. front cover, back cover. When ready, most children start with Lilac books (picture books). Children may be on reading books following the phonics baseline.

As they become confident blending, children are given word books. We start with Jelly & Bean books that use phrases instead of sentences. Following this, children will then receive pink phonics books from a range of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star and Collins Big Cat.  As the children's reading confidence builds, the books will begin to incorporate tricky words and work towards the introduction of digraphs.  Books are progressive within bands using a lettering system, and teacher judgement is used to ensure book choices are highly individualised.

Key Stage 1 (KS1)

While we wait for the 'Letters & Sounds' scheme outlined by the government for phonics to be updated, we are using Bug Club phonics. Our spelling scheme is 'No-Nonsense Spelling'.  From Year 2, spellings will be sent home weekly, but we do not do formal spelling tests.

In Key Stage 1, we follow the National Curriculum 2014.  Our reading scheme is colour banded and progressive so that children move up according to their reading level, regardless of their age. We use a range of reading book schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star and Collins Big Cat. We use Bug Club resources to check children's reading comprehension before they move book band. Guided Reading takes place weekly. During these sessions, children often read the reading band above their individual reader to provide an opportunity to explore more challenging texts alongside an adult.

Key Stage 2 (KS2)

In Key Stage 2, we follow the National Curriculum 2014.  The spelling focus for each year group is supported by age-appropriate spelling using the scheme 'No-Nonsense Spelling'. Spelling words will continue to be sent home weekly. Children who did not pass the phonics screening in Key Stage 1 will join a specialist intervention group in Year 3.

In Key Stage 2, children continue to read banded books until they move on to free reader texts. All classrooms have a range of carefully selected free reader texts to ensure children have access to age-appropriate, exciting and challenging books. Guided Reading is taught through books that cover a variety of genres and cross-curricular topics.  In these sessions children focus on vocabulary choices and develop their comprehension skills.  

Children are encouraged to read daily, either individually or with an adult.  We want children to read widely to develop a love of reading as well as gain knowledge and develop their vocabulary.