Hayesdown First School

Striving for excellence together

Phonics Is Our Tool For Teaching Reading

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Reading is an essential life skill. It is also the vehicle through which children access many other areas of the curriculum.  For these reasons, we place strong emphasis on helping children become competent, fluent readers early in their school life.

Phonics is the tool used to teach reading at Hayesdown First School.  Phonics is a systematic way to learn to read, which begins by teaching the letter sounds and then builds up to blending the sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.  The sounds are taught in isolation then blended together in order to decode or read a word.

It is very important that parents understand how their child is being taught to read so that they can practise these skills when reading with children at home.  To ensure that parents understand how reading is taught at Hayesdown First School and the importance the school places on teaching phonic skills, we run phonic workshops for parents and carers and invite parents/carers into school to observe and participate in phonic teaching sessions.

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The school uses a programme called Read, Write Inc. to teach phonics and reading skills.  Children at Hayesdown are grouped by stage not age for the teaching of phonics, reading and spelling.  We have 12 – 15 separate groups for the teaching of phonics, reading and spelling and each child is placed in a group with children who are at the same stage and who are moving forward at the same pace as them.  Phonics, reading and spelling are taught EVERY DAY, for the first 30 minutes of the morning.

Children who find phonics harder to master and require additional practice to secure early reading through phonics skills, receive one-to-one tuition for up to 20 minutes each day.  This is in addition to the phonics provision provided for each child at the start of each school day.

Phonics Policy January 2015