The teaching of reading is one of the most important aspects of education for the children at The Rookeries. We understand that being able to read provides children with access to the world around them and supports their ability to learn and develop in all other areas. However, reading also brings a joy and a sense of astonishment that cannot be achieved in any other way; children can discover new worlds, reflect on the past and explore emotions from the point of view of people like them and those who are very different. The children will have the opportunity throughout the day to read for pleasure, purpose and productivity.
Early Reading and Phonics
In the Foundation Stage, the pupils’ phonological awareness and phonic knowledge is developed as they follow the Letters and Sounds programme through daily phonics teaching. The focus at first is on pupils’ ability to discriminate between sounds in the environment and through the use of rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They are then taught the 26 graphemes and practice recognising phonemes in “CVC” words. They have opportunities to apply their developing phonic knowledge and skills in the context of shared reading and writing and, subsequently, in group/guided reading. In addition, they learn to read a range of familiar and common words and simple sentences independently.
Discrete, daily phonics teaching in differentiated groups continues into KS1. The children continue to learn new graphemes for the phonemes they already know, as well as alternative pronunciations. They are also taught the Common Exception Words for Year 1 and 2, set out in the National Curriculum (2014). By the end of Year 1, the children are ready to take their Phonics Screening Check. Across KS1, the children also become more confident at applying their phonics to reading and writing.
At The Rookeries, we aim to inspire our children to become creative and enthusiastic writers, and we have high expectations of the standards of writing they can produce. Throughout school, we work on the drafting and editing process, so that children become independent writers who can improve their own work to make their final draft the best it can be.
Our children are taught to be reflective writers who can work collaboratively to identify their strengths and areas to develop further. We want our children to be proud of their finished pieces of writing, so we display work throughout school for the children to share with family and visitors.
We place a lot of value on exciting and stimulating lessons at The Rookeries, and teachers are always on the lookout for new and interesting ways of engaging our young writers. We use drama activities, video clips, interactive resources and visitors to inspire our children to write for different purposes.