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Reading & Phonics

At Hildenborough CE Primary School, early reading is taught through systematic synthetic phonics using the Floppy’s Phonics scheme (Oxford University Press). The programme is taught throughout Year R and Year 1.  Through this approach, children are taught phonemes (sounds), how to blend sounds for reading and how to segment them to spell words.  The children continue to use their phonetic knowledge to support their spelling in every year. In addition to this, the children are also taught Common Exception Words, which do not completely follow the phonic rules.  The scheme also encompasses letter formation; starting with correct pencil grip, forming of lowercase letters and finally developing into cursive writing.

Reading Schemes:

In Year R and Key Stage 1, the children read books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme (Oxford University Press)  to support the development of early reading skills. These books are phonetically decodable and are linked directly to the phonemes taught.  They are banded by colour, which is used to identify the level of complexity. Once a child is able to read beyond the level of the reading schemes, they are able to choose age-appropriate books from the class and school library. These books are not banded but children will be guided by the class teacher on how to choose a suitably challenging reading book.

Reading for pleasure:

A love of reading is encouraged by exposing children to a wide range of high-quality texts. Children are encouraged to borrow books from the class and school library on a weekly basis, as well as bringing in their own texts from home to read in school. Teachers from Year R to Year 6 read to their classes regularly during story time and each class visits the local Hildenborough Library. We 

The teaching of reading comprehension:

In Year R and Year 1, reading comprehension is taught through a shared reading approach, during which the teacher will share a text with the whole class.
Reading comprehension skills are then developed through questioning and activities linked to the text such as, drama activities. In Year R, each shared reading session will have a reading focus, which will be recorded in the child’s home/school contact book.
In Year 2 and Key Stage 2, children are taught reading comprehension skills through clearly structured reading lessons, which aim to develop children’s skills at their level.

Leaders prioritise reading. Effective phonics teaching in Reception Year enables children to make a secure start to learning to read. Teachers ensure that reading books are carefully matched to the children’s knowledge. Children experience success and enjoy reading.

Ofsted Inspection Report, 2023