Helping your Child to Read
Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early schooling and this has far–reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well being. High quality phonic work should be the prime means for teaching children how to read and spell words in the foundation stage. It is very important to develop children’s speaking and listening skills from the earliest stages, ensuring that beginner readers are ready to get off to a good start in phonic work by the age of five. This work should be set within a curriculum which is rich in language development opportunities.
Here at Balfour Primary school we use the Letters and Sounds programme which is structured into six stages. We teach our Phonics lessons primarily through Phonics Play; this enables children to learn sounds discretely and in context in a fun way.
Here are some useful links to phonic games you can play with your child on the computer.
Phonics and Reading Schemes in KS1
We use a range of phonics and reading schemes in KS1 which include:
Children are assessed through the statutory Phonic Screening Test at the end of Year 1 to monitor their ability to decode effectively. Our pass rate has increased again this year from 85% in 2017 to 91% in 2018.
Guided reading sessions
Foundation Stage and Key stage 1
In Balfour Primary School we have a structured reading scheme for the Foundation stage comprising 100% decodable readers in it. There are many fiction and non- fiction readers which contain plenty of exciting stories and information. Fun, varied and packed with humour each book is 100% decodable and they enable each of our children at school and at home to be able to read them independently.
At the front and back of each book there are useful consolidation and extension activities for the reader to work through with the teacher/ teaching assistant and parents.
All children are given a phonic assessment at the beginning of the 2nd half of Autumn Term. If children have passed through Stage 1 and are working within Stage 2 they are given a reading book which they take home in a book bag.
In the Spring term the children are put into reading groups and are given the appropriate level of book for their stage of development.
As the children move up the school the books they are given introduce various strategies for reading such as context cues and decoding in a range of genres. At this stage the books are divided up into colour bands. The Reading Behaviour cards will focus on the strategies that are needed to help your child’s reading progress. Please click on the below links to download these Reading Behaviour cards.
We hope you find this information useful.
Key Stage 1
In Year 1 and 2 we teach Guided Reading through a carousel. Children are read with at least once a week with the class teacher and work their way through phased books which increase in difficulty and length as they progress. Other activities are linked to reading skills including key spelling recognition and comprehension. We assess children's reading level each half term through Benchmarking and checking their corresponding comprehension. It is vital not to move children through increasingly difficult books without ensuring that their understanding and ability to answer appropriate questions matches securely.
Children's reading levels are assessed at the end of Key Stage 1 through their Reading SAT assessment. Children complete two papers which are a combination of reading texts and answering comprehension questions. The percentage of children reaching Age Related Expectations for Reading has increased year on year - 80% in 2016, 83% in 2017 and 85% in 2018.