Synthetic Phonics is a way of teaching reading. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent. Children can then start to read words by blending (synthesising) the sounds together to make a word.
At Ramsbury School we follow a systematic approach where each grapheme is introduced clearly; a focus is placed on blending to read and segmenting to spell. This focus provides children with the skills they need to begin to read words, captions and whole sentences as soon as possible. Our chosen validated phonics programme is Unlocking Letters and Sounds.
A video to support parents with reading at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhu3xeNq3Kg
At Ramsbury School, reading is promoted as an intrinsic part of teaching and learning; it forms a pivotal part of our curriculum. We believe that learning to read and reading for pleasure transforms children’s lives.
Children practise reading using fully decodable books that are closely matched to their developing phonic level. Reading books are closely matched to the phonics programme and are grouped accordingly.
From the end of Reception, teacher-led guided reading sessions take place weekly in small groups. Children read a carefully selected engaging text over two sessions. The focus of the first session is on the three key components of reading fluency:
- automaticity (rapid recall of whole known words)
- prosody (reading with expression)
The second session returns to the text and challenges the children to explore the content of the book; for example; looking at vocabulary choices, word meaning and retrieving key information.
Once children become fluent readers, a range of books is provided to allow children to engage in more lengthy discussions about the content of the book to deepen their understanding and broaden their vocabulary.
Children are encouraged to read at home every day and all classes take part in the ‘300 Night Reader’ competition. Research shows that children who read daily develop reading fluency at a more rapid rate and become more confident, eloquent writers. We aspire to this for all our children.
Love of Reading
We give children the best start we can by teaching them to read as soon as possible so that they can develop a love of reading that will provide them with the skills they need for the future.
Right from the beginning of their time at Ramsbury School, children access a range of high quality engaging texts across a range of genres.
We have a dedicated library area in Our Great New Space and all classes have access to this throughout the week.
What is the Year One Phonics Screening Check?
The phonics screening check was introduced in 2011-12; it is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half non-words, which all Year 1 children read to a teacher. It takes place at the end of Year 1 and is a statutory requirement. If children do not pass the phonics screening check in Year 1, they will retake it in Year 2.