Reading is part and parcel of everyday life at Phil & Jim. The school seeks not only to teach children the skills they need to read, but also to foster a love and enjoyment of reading, which will hopefully stay with them for the rest of their lives. Ofsted’s inspection report of October 2012 highlighted the “real enthusiasm and enjoyment of reading amongst pupils” at Phil & Jim.
Phonics is taught throughout the school using the Read Write Inc. scheme, a whole-school literacy programme for 5-11-year-olds, which ensures systematic coverage and progression.
In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), the children are taught in smaller groups, led either by class teachers or by trained learning support staff. The children are assessed regularly to ensure that they are making progress and that they are in the appropriate group for supporting and extending their individual needs. Year 1 children take part in statutory Phonics Screening during Term 6, and parents are informed of their child’s achievement at the end of the school year.
Writing progresses from talking and composing sentences orally to being able to write sentences with support and, later on, independently. Writing is linked to storytelling and to the children’s own experiences, as well as to the topics taught. Phonics is used to support the early stages of writing, and spelling patterns are taught as the children’s skills progress. Great emphasis is also placed on handwriting and learning the correct letter formation and pencil control from early on.
Read Write Inc. continues to form the basis for literacy teaching as children move into Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6) and develop their writing, spelling and grammar skills.
Guided reading takes place daily throughout the school. The children read once a week with their teacher as part of a small group, and discuss the text as appropriate.
Volunteers come into school regularly to listen to individual children read.
The school does not use one specific reading scheme, and has instead classified a wide range of books into different colour bands to create reading progression. Children work their way through the colour bands until they reaching books from the school or class libraries. Some children in Key Stage 2 follow the Project X or Rapid Reading schemes.
Children are encouraged to read on a daily basis at home and record this in their reading records. Daily reading could include: reading to an adult, reading to a sibling, reading to themselves or being read to by an adult.