Reading and Phonics in EYFS and Year One
Reading is an extremely important skill - in fact it is the master skill of the curriculum. This journey began long before your child started school through the enjoyment of nursery rhymes and picture books at home. We believe that this enjoyment of stories, rhymes and poems which begins at a very young age is the secret ingredient in developing lifelong readers. Our approach through the Early Years and into Key Stage 1 is to nurture this, allow it to grow and ultimately, to flourish.
We recognise the importance of daily phonics and the role it plays in early reading as children build on phonological awareness which has developed since birth. Whilst children are born with an ability to recognise oral sounds, the process of learning to read must be taught in a consistent, systematic way. Decoding or simply, word reading is a pre-requisite step for every pupil’s reading success.
Our Bollin Primary School Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSP) forms a key part of our Reading framework and outlines our approach to the teaching of Phonics throughout the school. Our programme seeks to establish consistency in practice for the teaching of phonics including the use of resources, sequencing, assessment and intervention. The programme is not limited to children in EYFS and KS1 rather outlines a universal approach that can be adopted beyond KS1 where necessary to ensure that children have the fundamental phonetic knowledge to become confident fluent readers.
At Bollin, our primary approach to teaching children this step is through the delivery of Systematic Synthetic Phonics:
Phonics is: helpful for all children, harmful for none, and crucial for some’ (Snow & Juel, 2005)
We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme from Nursery and throughout Year One. We use phonically decodable fiction, non-fiction and library books to support the reading and phonics teaching that takes place in the Early Years and Year One. These books are banded to ensure that there is clear progression for each individual child, linked to their current stage in the phonics programme.
Teachers monitor and assess the children regularly within individual and small group reading/phonics sessions. Children access texts through both the well-stocked classroom and school library areas. These provide children with access to a wide variety of texts to suit all abilities and interests.
The very carefully planned teaching that we provide in school is best supported by plenty of practice at home. We recommend that you read with your child regularly throughout the week. Teachers will provide you with example questions to help develop both their fluency and comprehension skills. It is important that children are able to recognise key words, segment and blend words to become fluent readers but it is also imperative that they understand what has been read. Teachers in EYFS and Year One hold a ‘Reading Meeting’ each academic year to explain in more detail the phonics and reading approaches that we use at our school.