Phonics and Reading at Maidstone

At Maidstone Infants School we aim to foster a love of reading. All classes have stories read to them and our English lessons often use a book as a starting point. Every child has an opportunity to choose a book from our library on a weekly basis.  We run weekly shared reading sessions with parents in Zebra and Elephant Class in order to encourage parents to share books with their children and to allow staff to provide advice to parents on early reading skills.

Phonics and SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)

The use of phonics is to enable beginner readers to decode new words by sounding them out, or in phonic terms, blending the sounds. As from this year, we will be teaching phonics using Read, Write, Inc. This is a scheme used in schools across the country that teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension skills. Phonics begins in Reception; children begin to learn the letter sounds by singing songs, doing actions and taking part in daily games and activities which promote key listening skills essential to early reading. During phonic lessons, children learn to say the sound of letters (the phoneme) and practise the correct letter formation (the graphemes). In Years 1 and 2, children continue with phonics lessons. They move through the Read, Write, Inc programme and are introduced to more complex sounds such as trigraphs (three letters that make one sound) and split digraphs (a digraph that is split by a consonant, for example i-e) Children are assessed frequently so that the learning is at a pace that is suitable for them. At the beginning of year 2, children will review the phonemes and alternative graphemes. After this we will be moving onto SPaG lessons where the children will learn spellings, punctuation skills and grammar.

Reading Scheme

All children in school read individually with an adult. In addition to this, children in Key Stage 1 (year 1 and 2)  have guided reading activities four times a week. The children read and take home books from a reading scheme that has been banded according to phonic levels.  They include books from The Oxford Reading Tree; Floppy’s Phonics, Songbird Phonics, Fireflies and Treetops. We ask parents to share their child’s reading books at least four times a week and to record progress in individual reading diaries.