At Toll Bar Primary School, children receive a daily Phonics lesson. This is in the form of children across Years F2, Y1, Y2 and Y3 being placed in smaller groups to address their particular needs in all areas of Spelling, Grammar and punctuation which incorporates the teaching of Phonics in some groups. Pupils begin by learning how to discriminate different sounds, learn how to make rhymes, and develop alliterative sentences (phrases all beginning with the same letter). They then begin to learn the formation and sounds of different letters and how to form them and say them accurately in order to begin to blend to form words.
The curriculum of Phonics children are taught is set out by the government published programme "Letters and Sounds" and recently school has started to use Read, Write,Inc resources in order to reinforce key principles and to give sounds a character in order to help children learn the sounds. Children are also given opportunities to develop their memory skills which is essential to early reading. In order to support this the school also holds regular parents workshops in order for them to see how we do things in school, and be able to help their children in the same way at home.
Children in Year 1 are monitored by a Government 'test' to check their phonic knowledge. This takes place in June and is administered by a teacher within the school who sits with the child on a one to one basis to judge how much phonic knowledge they have. This includes being able to blend sounds to form real words and also pseudo words (nonsense words). Children are given a mark out of 40 for the Check and this is reportable to the Authority.
In addition to the teaching of Phonics children have a lot of other opportunities to read and develop their Early Literacy schemes. This includes reading books individually and as parts of small groups in class. In addition to this children appreciate longer and more complex stories through shared class texts which may be read over a week or even a half term. Through this they develop an appreciation of longer stories and also have access to a wider range of authors.
At Toll Bar Primary School, all our early reading books are colour banded. Your child will be given a colour band to choose their home reading book from which will help to ensure that the book they select is at about the right reading level for them. Our core scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree. The majority of books within the early book bands can be decoded using phonics skills and knowledge – encourage your child to use their phonics skills to read at home.
Reading for Pleasure
At Toll Bar Primary School, we encourage pupils to develop a love of reading and to borrow books from our school collection to enjoy with their families. Our staff are very happy to speak to parents who want to support their child in widening their reading habits. We have reading for pleasure sessions in every class. Each class has a dedicated reading area where pupils can read for pleasure. Staff read daily to pupils to increase their pleasure and enjoyment of reading.