"Reading is the one ability that, once set in motion, has the capacity to feed itself, to grow exponentially, producing a base from which the possibilities are infinite."
Reading is the most important skill that children must master during their time at primary school. Reading opens up the doors to the whole world of learning. At Blackthorn Academy, we aim to make sure that every child learns to read. We rely on the parents of our pupils to help us in this task by; listening to their child read every night; talking to them about books and reading stories to their children.
We use a scheme known as Read Write Inc. It is a systematic phonics and reading programme that is great fun and very pacey. Our children are organised in ability groups for reading and have a Read Write Inc lesson each morning. The groups vary in size. We assess pupils regularly and re-group them when they have made progress.
The children start by learning the 44 'Speed Sounds', which have corresponding pictures. Once they have learnt their sounds, they learn to read words using sound-blending. The children know this as 'Fred Talk'. They use 'Fred Talk' to read lively stories and then they talk about what has happened in the books. They also write about the stories using their 'Fred Fingers' to identify the separate sounds needed to spell each word.
Partner work is key to our reading programme so that the children get to answer every question from the teacher, practise every activity and practise their sentences before they write them.
Once children are confident readers, they begin literacy sessions where they have the opportunity to read a wide range of different texts written by lots of different authors. They have guided reading sessions in small groups, where they have a chance to sit with their teacher and discuss their understanding of the book.
How can you help your child to make good progress in reading?
- Read stories and talk about books with your child
- Attend our parent phonics sessions
- Learn the correct pronunciation of each sound by visiting this website and practise these with your child.
- Do not teach your child letter names until they are taught them in school. Research shows that children who are taught the names of letters rather than the sounds can often find it harder to learn to read.
- Listen to your child read the book that they are sent home with from school for ten minutes every night in a quiet room. The books that are sent home have already been read by your child at school. They should find them quite straight forward and enjoyable to read.
- If you have any questions no matter how silly you may think they are, please ask your child’s class teacher.