Teaching of Reading

Phonics and Spelling at Barley Mow Primary School

At Barley Mow Primary School we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonic programme with ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions and pictures to support this.  In the Foundation Stage, our phonic skills begin with speaking and listening. We practise listening for sounds (phonemes) at the beginning, in the middle, and at the ends of words. We also practise blending sounds together verbally to make words. We then begin learning single letter sounds. Pupils learn the sound, the action and the formation of each letter. As the children become more confident, we teach them how to put these single sounds together to read and write words. Throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage, we constantly reinforce the importance of correct formation of these letters, practising in different ways, such as using glitter, sand and playdough. We also focus on High Frequency words, such as home, we, look, I, which the children learn by sight.

In Key Stage One, the children continue to follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme linked with the Primary National Curriculum spellings.  These high frequency words are statutory words that are set out in the primary curriculum for each year group. Punctuation and grammar teaching also takes place in these sessions.

In Key Stage Two, the children are taught spelling, punctuation and grammar in daily class sessions, following the Primary National Curriculum statutory guidance. Phonics teaching will continue in intervention groups for those children who require it.

The majority of the teaching of spelling will be done in school. Your child will take part in 4 spelling sessions a week based around a different spelling focus each week.  Once a week, teachers will assess your child’s progress – this may be through asking them to spell words that have been taught during the week, or by writing down sentences that are dictated to them.  We have intentionally limited the number of words so that the spelling of these key words becomes embedded in your child’s written work.

We really appreciate parental support at home and teachers will share the spelling lists each half term. We will be grateful if you encourage your child to spend some time learning the words during the week. The learning going on in school will therefore be practised and reinforced at home.


Reading at Barley Mow Primary School

Children in our Early Years Foundation Stage take part in many book related activities which prepare them for independent reading. School reading books will be sent home when the class teacher is confident that each individual child is ready. At first, this may be wordless, so that children can practise their understanding of how books work, telling the story through the illustrations. They will move on to books with words when appropriate. All books will be accompanied by a Home Reading Record book for parents to sign and comment in.

Throughout Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, the children will continue to bring home a weekly reading book with a Home Reading Record Book. Comments are very useful in informing the teacher how the child has coped with the text. Regular reading at home is essential to good progress and we really appreciate parental support in hearing your child read as often as possible.

In school, children from Reception upwards, take part in weekly Guided Reading group with the class teacher or TA. In Key Stage One, this is incorporated into a daily reading session, with a carousel of reading activities such as reading comprehensions, character description, dictionary work etc. We also aim to hear children in Reception and Key Stage One read independently each week.

All children during their time at Barley Mow will enjoy a range of texts. As well as ‘real’ books we use a number of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Read Write Inc., Collins Big Cat and Treetops In Fact. Once a week, children in Key Stage Two take part in a whole class reading session which is designed to help develop their written comprehension skills. Comprehension skills are also taught discretely during English lessons.

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