Reading and Phonics
At Springhead Park, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills that will empower our children to be successful in learning in all subjects. Through our English curriculum, we aim to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable the pupils to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language, whilst developing their creativity in a purposeful and experiential way. Creativity is at the heart of our English curriculum, developing innovative and imaginative readers and writers for life.
We intend to develop a love of reading, and we are dedicated to enabling our children to be lifelong readers. We believe that reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future study and employment.
At Springhead Park Primary, we encourage all children to develop a love and passion for reading both at school and at home in line with the National Curriculum expectations that children develop a pleasure in reading as well as motivation to read.
Reading regularly is proven to improve your child’s understanding and use of varied vocabulary, stimulate their imagination and improve their memory and concentration. As well as these benefits, children’s mood and wellbeing can be improved - National Literacy Trust research shows that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to have good mental wellbeing than children who don’t enjoy reading.
It is now more important than ever that your child regularly reads age appropriate books. For this reason, your child is allocated a book which is appropriate for their reading level. Children will then be able to bring these books home to read each night after school or in the morning before school.
At Springhead Park Primary School all pupils are expected to read at home 5 times per week for a duration of 5 to 10 mins for Reception pupils, 10 to 15 mins for KS1 pupils and a minimum of 15 mins for KS2 pupils.
Some top tips for reading at home
- Pick your timing carefully – it’s best not to embark on a reading session when your child is tired.
- Every child is an individual – try not to compare your child’s progress with other children or with siblings.
- Do not put pressure on your child to rush through the book bands. Instead, allow them time to show their depth of understanding across a vast range of books and genres.
- Remember that there is two aspects to reading - decoding and comprehension. A child may be able to read a book fluently but they must also develop and show their comprehension of the book in different ways to have truly ‘read’ the book.
- Encourage your children to read daily and model this positive attitude as much as you can.
- Offer your child a variety of reading opportunities, such as recipes, news, magazines, audiobooks, comics, poetry etc.
Phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. To allow our children to develop a strong phonic awareness and effective blending, we use a synthetic phonics scheme called Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). Developing early reading skills through phonics teaching empowers our children to enjoy reading for pleasure, opening the opportunity to be transported to other worlds and learn more about the world around them.
Our phonics programme, Essential Letters and Sounds, is a Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme, validated by the Department for Education. Essential Letters and Sounds is an SSP where only the essential elements are included. The name reflects the key principles of the programme; simplicity and consistency. The programme uses a consistent lesson structure, resources and language, minimising cognitive load and increasing success.
More information about our phonics scheme (Essential Letters and Sounds) can be found here.