At Alver Valley Schools, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach to reading. The school follows the government published programme “Letters and Sounds” which supports us in providing a multi-sensory approach to learning phonics. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. They are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.
In Nursery children learn phase 1 phonics. They learn to tune into sounds and blend and segment words at a phase 1 level.
In Year R children learn phases 1-4. We teach children the phonemes using Jolly Phonics following the Letters and Sounds Programme.
In Year 1 children recap phase 4 and learn phase 5 phonics.
Parents are invited to phonics workshops and stay and play sessions in Year R and Year 1 so that they can see how we teach phonics in school and learn how they can support children at home.
During the summer term children in Year 1 take part in the Year One Phonics Screening check.
Early reading uses a synthetic phonics approach. This is taught systematically and uses multi-sensory strategies, enabling the children to access texts. The choice of texts available are closely linked to the phonic stage they are working within. We encourage children to hear sounds in the environment and words before progressing to recognising letters and blending sounds to read words.
As children progress through the colour book bands they gain greater confidence and fluency. Reading widely and often, enjoying books for pleasure as well as for gaining information. There are opportunities for rich dialogic talk around texts so children can explain clearly their understanding and ideas.