Phonics and Reading

In Phonics, St Ambrose follow the Read Write Inc Phonics programme by Ruth Miskin. This programme is a method of teaching reading which is centred around learning the sounds of the letters (phonics), and then blending them together to read words. Following this method of teaching also provides children with the opportunity to learn to break down words into individual sounds in order to write them.

Using Read Write Inc the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into understanding what they read.
When using 'Read Write Inc' to read the children will:
Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
Learn to read words by blending the sounds together
Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
Show that they understand the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove it' discussion questions.
Read Write Inc allows the children to spell effortlessly so that they can put their energy into working out what they want to write.
When using 'Read Write Inc' to write the children will:
Learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds (graphemes)
Learn to write words by sounding them out and then writing the corresponding graphemes
Learn to write simple and then increasingly complex sentences
Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts
Compose stories based on picture strips. 

Fresh Start Phonics Reading Intervention

Some children in Year 4 - 6 take part in the 'Fresh Start Read Write Inc' reading intervention to support them to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. It also teaches them to spell correctly and compose their ideas for writing step-by-step.

Our children enjoy reading the programme's lively stories and non-fiction texts which are both age appropriate and closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and as they re-read the texts, their fluency increases.

Reading Scheme

At St Ambrose we use Oxford Reading Tree fully decodable resources to establish confident readers in Key Stage 1. These resources are supported by a combination of Floppy Phonics and Rigby Star books to provide our children with a rich and varied choice of writing styles, genres and artwork styles to enjoy.

We follow the Oxford Owl levelling structure designed to support the teaching of reading in class and to ensure that when a child takes a book home they can read it successfully, build confidence and make progress. All our books are banded into levels and a ‘level’ of a book is determined by a number of factors. These factors include phonic knowledge, vocabulary, sentence length, number of words on a page and use of illustrations.

The point at which a child is secure, confident at a given level and ready to move up a band is determined by the class teacher through regular assessment. It is important to bear in mind that not all levels are of equal size. In the first few years of school, the steps of progress are fairly small, and children will move through a number of levels quite quickly. As children move up the levels, the steps become broader and ‘moving up’ happens less frequently. 

In Key Stage 2 children continue to read levelled Oxford Reading Tree banded non-fiction and fiction books to ensure that each child continues to get a varied and appropriately challenging reading diet. Each level introduces new things and practises the skills and knowledge learned in the previous levels with age appropriate content.

Love of Reading

At St Ambrose we understand the importance of developing a love of reading across the school because we are fully aware that the more children read, the more knowledge they absorb, and knowledge is important in all aspects of life.

To support a love of reading, we have a brand new library full of exciting new books that children are encouraged to loan out and are they helped to choose books by our Key Stage Two librarians. 

Each year, we celebrate World Book day to encourage our children have an appreciation of authors, books, illustrators and - of course - reading! In 2019, as a whole school, we explored the book, 'The Day the Crayons Quit' with all teachers dressing up as crayons and bringing the letters written in the books to life.

This academic year we are celebrating Roald Dahl's 102nd Birthday as a school and will be finding all about his life's work and what inspired him to start writing the wonderful books we read.

In Key Stage Two, each classroom has reading books that children are welcome to choose to read alongside the reading scheme books and they are also encouraged to read a range of material outside of school e.g. newspapers and comics.

The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Dr Seuss

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