How we teach reading at St Mary's Catholic Primary School
We teach reading using Read, Write inc. a complete strategy for teaching children phonics.
Please read more about the programme by clicking here:
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7.
Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
Children who have been taught phonics also tend to read more accurately than those taught using other methods, such as ‘look and say’. This includes children who find learning to read difficult, for example those who have dyslexia.
What is the phonics screening check?
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps our school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress.
What are ‘non-words'?
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Your child will be told before the check that there will be non-words that he or she will not have seen before. Many children will be familiar with this because many schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics.
Non-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.
After the check
Your school should tell you about your child’s progress in phonics and how he or she has done in the screening check in the last half-term of year 1. If your child has found the check difficult, your child’s school should also tell you what support they have put in place to help him or her improve. You might like to ask how you can support your child to take the next step in reading. Children who have not met the standard in year 1 will retake the check in year 2.
All children are individuals and develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.