‘Leaders promote reading well. Staff teach phonics in a logical order. This supports pupils in key stage 1, and children in the early years, to learn new sounds. Teachers make sure that pupils take home books that match the sounds that they learn in class. This means that pupils can practise new sounds at home and develop their reading fluency and accuracy. Staff plan activities to help pupils catch up if they fall behind with their reading.’ Ofsted 2021
Just as Christ strengthens us at Hoole St Michael, reading strengthens our children, and we are keen to encourage a love of reading within our pupils. Instilling this love and confidence with reading in pupils allows them a greater opportunity to unlock the whole curriculum as well as inspire them a range of relatable characters and add to their imaginations.
We provide our pupils with exciting enrichment activities to engage their enthusiasm for reading, develop their love of learning and broaden their experiences.
The pupils reading journey begins in our Nursery, with phonics and listening to story time. Our whole school approach to reading means that all children in our school listen to an adult read every week just for the joy of listening to a story! As well as instilling this passion, we aim to provide children, by the time they leave us in year 6, with all the skills they need to be able to pick up a book and read with confidence and fluency.
At Hoole St Micheal Phonics begins in Nursery. The children begin with phase 1 phonics, listening to the world around them. This is key to their development in reading as this early stage helps them to identify and group sounds, a key skill when learning their phonics in the following phases.
In Reception, children begin phase 2 phonics in late September one they have settled into the rules and routine of school. Throughout Reception they continue through the phases. As a school we aim for the children to be at Phase 4 at the end of Reception.
In Year 1 children continue their phonics journey learning the phase 5 sounds before they take their phonics check at the end of Year 1. All of the phonics is supported by ‘Phonics Bug Books’. The children take these books home to support the sounds they have learnt that week in their phonics lessons. They are great practise for the children to apply the phonics they have learnt in school, at home and to a book.
Children experience a wide range of reading opportunities across the curriculum, as well as using our well stocked library. Children begin their reading in phonics and as well as taking their ‘Phonics Bug Books’ home. All children take home two reading books. In Key Stage One they take a phonics reading book to practice the sounds they have learnt in class and they take a coloured book band book that includes tricky word to continue their reading and comprehension at home with parents. In Key Stage Two, children take home a coloured book band book appropriate to their reading age and ability and a pupil selected library book for them to share at home for pleasure.
We teach reading skills through a whole class approach and follow John Murray’s Reading Explorers from Year 2 to Year 6. In Reception and Year 1 they follow John Murray’s Reading Rockerteers. These lessons offer children a wide range of text that the children enjoy and are great for practicing the skill of reading rather than the fluency and mechanics.
The impact of our English curriculum is monitored closely at Hoole St Michael to ensure we are constantly providing first quality teaching across school. This is monitored by Senior Leadership by half termly learning walks, book and planning scrutinies, pupil interviews and lesson observations.
We read with all children weekly and those who need support daily. We use the Lancashire Key Learning Document to support and track the progress of the pupils half termly.
Children should leave Hoole St Michael prepared and confident for the next stage of their English learning.
Phonics reading scheme at Hoole St Michael
At Hoole St Michael, we aim to make the teaching of synthetic phonics a lot of fun. We have decided to use the Phonics Bug scheme as we believe it has everything we need to set all of our pupils on the path to a lifelong love of reading.
Phonics Bug scheme (click here to see some of the books)