Reading and phonics

Reading -  is really important as it is so closely linked to success at school and thus children's self-esteem, confidence and motivation.   Being able to read is the key to independent learning and so it's given a high priority by all staff.  Learning to read is a complex process, but basically we need to decode the words and also understand what we are reading.  We set out to make sure all of our children are confident readers with a wide range of experience!

At Belford Primary School we follow the systematic phonics programme published by the government called ‘Letters and Sounds’ but also incorporate aspects of the Read Write Inc programme.

All children participate in a 15 – 20minute daily phonics session.  This involves not only the teaching of a new skill but also time to practice and apply the skills taught. Regular monitoring is in place to track children’s progress and ensure everyone is reaching their full potential.

Our aim is to develop enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers with a lifelong love of reading.

Our Literacy lessons are centred around The Power of Reading. This programme is designed to enhance children's pleasure in reading through supporting planning and introducing innovative teaching approaches. 

Each week children take part in a guided reading session with the class teacher, share whole class readers, read individually at school and at home, learn high frequency words and borrow books from the library.

Writing - The ablility to write well is linked to children's experience of story and other texts.  We use a "Talk for Writing" approach, which involves the adults and children storytelling, talking about the story, drama activities and then shared writing.  Gradually the children become more proficient as writers, because they have the vocabulary and the skills. In this way we teach the writing process and support the children in planning, composing and revising their work.  Children write every day, across the curriculum and for a range of purposes,

We also teach spelling, punctuation and fluency in handwriting.  

Handwriting   - We help our children develop a neat legible and fluent style of handwriting.  Short, focused handwriting sessions are taught on a regular basis.  When they achieve success they feel a sense of pride, are more motivated to write and tend to be better at spelling.  We have regular handwriting competitions in school and all children have the chance to earn a pen licence once they have mastered their skills.