At Newlaithes Infants we love reading!
The children are taught the sounds letters make during their phonic sessions. We follow the 'letters and sounds' programme but also use materials from Jolly Phonics, such as the songs and jingles, to help the children remember the sounds. Reading books are sent home once children can blend the sounds together. We have found this works well as the children then achieve success and they want to read more and more. Reading books are taken from the Songbird Phonics and parents and carers can change these as frequently as they would like to. Once the children become more confident readers they can choose books from the Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree schemes. We have invested heavily in reading books to give the children a wide variety of reading material.
Once the children move to Year 1 we continue to teach phonics to help with reading and writing. The headteacher monitors the progress children are making half-termly and interventions are put into place to help children who are falling behind. The children can progress at different rates and they will not be held back.
Of course, reading is not just about phonics. The children also read in their own classes, individually with an adult and in guided reading sessions. In guided reading sessions, groups of up to 6 children read together with a teacher or teaching assistant. They explore the book they are reading and they start to develop their comprehension skills.
Since the year 1 phonics screening test was introduced by the government the number of children achieving the required level at our school has been consistently higher than the national average. At the end of year 2 assessments our children also perform well with many achieving at a high level.
Activities throughout the year, and in our annual book week, also help the children develop a love of books. We may, for example, visit the local library, work with authors or dress as book characters. Our morning book club is popular with the children too. We want our children to love reading so they will continue to thrive beyond their time with us.