Hollingbourne Primary School
Hollingbourne | Maidstone | ME17 1UA

Teaching of phonics

Early Years:

Within Early Years children are taught phonics which are short 15 minute sessions following the Letters and Sounds programme. Letters and Sounds follows a fun and practical approach to learning phoneme, enabling the children to see, say hear and write sounds to aid reading and writing. We start off by listening to the initial sounds in words and the formation of the letters before moving on reading and writing cvc and ccvc words. Once the children are secure in their sound knowledge we move onto reading and understanding simple captions and sentences. The children will use their phonic knowledge when they are reading to sound out a word and then blending it as well as with their writing where they will segment the word into individual sounds.

Key Stage One and Key Stage Two:

Phonics is taught through Letters and Sounds which is a systematic synthetics phonics programme designed to help children become fluent readers by the end of the Key Stage. We focus upon teaching high quality phonics using blending and segmenting.  This enables us to teach the children correspondences between written language (graphemes) and spoken language (phonemes).  These correspondences can then help children to read and spell words.

Teaching of reading

Early Years:

The teaching of reading begins with wordless books allowing the children to practice their story telling skills. Once the children become secure with some of their phase 2 sounds we will begin sending out books with words. Your child will have their books changed and will be read with a teacher at least once a week. Later in the year when the children are more settled the children will begin guided reading session which will be taught over 5 sessions a week. These activities will include:
-reading an appropriately levelled book with an adult, being extended through questioning to check understanding. 
-reading their independent reading book with an adult.
-free reading where the children can choose a book to enjoy.
-appropriately levelled activities allowing the children to practice their reading and to check their understanding.

Key Stage One and Key Stage Two:

Children are taught reading skills by accessing high quality texts within Guided Reading sessions. These sessions are completed daily in every class.  They contain a range of different reading and phonics related tasks.  Guided Reading sessions are differentiated according to each child’s reading ability.  Activities completed within this time include:

  • Reading comprehension – children are given a short text to read and questions to answer, based on the text read;
  • Self-selected own reading time – this enables children the chance to explore and choose books;
  • Reading with an adult – each group will read a text which may be selected by the teacher or the children. This allows opportunities for deeper discussions to take place about the text the children are reading. The adult working with the group will skilfully explore through questioning the children’s understanding and their ability to use higher order inference skills, in turn, allowing them to comprehend deeper meaning and greater understanding of the text;
  • Follow on tasks that relate to the group book they are reading, allowing children to further enhance and test their understanding.