Why Phonics matters
At St. Thomas More, we believe that the teaching and learning of phonics is crucial to enable children to read and spell. Phonics are the foundations to reading. Having a strong knowledge of phonemes and correlating graphemes provides children with a core foundation upon which they can develop their skills in reading and spelling as they move up through the school.
We want the teaching of phonics to be engaging for children at St. Thomas More to enable children to be fluent readers rapidly. As stated in the National Curriculum 2014, we believe that, “Reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens a treasure house of wonder and joyful curious young minds.”
Our Approach to Phonics
Phonics lessons at St. Thomas More follow the ‘Read, Write Inc’ scheme.
Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.
In addition, the school runs brush-up phonics sessions and Nuffield Early Language Intervention sessions to support children who need additional input to master their phonics.
In EYFS and Year 1, emphasis is placed upon children applying their phonic knowledge when reading; facilitating them with skills to segment and blend unfamiliar words in texts. As children move up through the school we continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through carefully chosen and engaging texts and through staff modelling and promoting a love of reading for pleasure. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, including:
Everybody Writes Day; No Pens Wednesday, Super Learning Days, World Book Day and Writing Journeys.
Children in Key Stage 2 have three guided reading lessons per week which introduce them to a range of texts. They also improve their reading skills through VIPERS in their daily English Lessons. We have created a curriculum that encourages children to become enthusiastic and engaged with English. We have worked hard to provide our children with rich and varied learning opportunities that help them to become confident and enthusiastic learners. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently express their emotions and their ideas. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world.
You can view our Reading curriculum overview here: