Every day children have a 20 minutes phonic lesson. We use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics. All children from Year R-2 are divided into 'phase' groups according to their letters and sounds knowledge.
Phase Two The children learn to pronounce the sounds themselves in response to letters, before blending them. This leads to them being able to read simple words and captions.
s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d, g, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss + tricky words
Phase Three Completes the teaching of the alphabet and moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter. The children will learn letter names and how to read and spell some tricky words.
j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er + tricky words
Phase Four The children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants.
Phase Five The children broaden their knowledge of sounds for use in reading and spelling. They will begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.
ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, oe, au, ey, a_e, i_e, u_e, o_e + tricky words
The phonics screening test is a short assessment that children take near the end of Year 1. The test consists of 40 words (real and made up words) that your child will be asked to read one-to-one with a teacher.
It is a compulsory test that ALL children have to sit.
The pass mark is around 32/40 but may go up/down depending on national scores. If your child does not pass the screening, they can retake the test in Year 2.
At Lenham Primary School, we strive to ensure that our pupils appreciate how valuable and rewarding reading can be and as such we have invested in the Accelerated Reader programme for Years 2 to 6. Children in Year 1 will join the programme once they have acquired a secure understanding of phonics and can apply this understanding to their reading, and so in the meantime will continue to be given phonics reading books to share at home.
Accelerated Reader is a computerised programme that has not only been specifically designed to improve children’s reading ability and continue to raise their reading age, but also to encourage and nurture a love of reading that will continue into adulthood.
The programme works by identifying a child’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which essentially is a selection of books that will not only match their ability, but will also challenge them and develop their vocabulary. In order to determine their ZPD, each child in Years 2 to 6 will sit a short online comprehension test (called a Star Test). Using the outcomes of these tests, the children will then be directed to choose books from the school library that fall within this range and when they have finished reading a book, they will take a short, electronic quiz that assesses their understanding of what they have read. This enables the class teacher to have a meaningful discussion about your child’s reading: what they have learnt and how we can help them to develop. It also enables class teachers to closely monitor individual reading progress and ensure the children are selecting books that are challenging enough to meet their individual needs.
The reading books in our school library have now been categorised into the following Accelerated Reader levels:
Book Level (BL)
The Book Level ranges between 0.2 and 13.5. This has been calculated using two main factors:
- average sentence length
- vocabulary difficulty
The Interest Level relates to the content and appropriateness of the text.
LY = Lower Years, approx age 5-8 (LY books stored outside Year 1 have been categorised as ILY: Infant Lower Years)
MY = Middle Years, approx age 9-13
UY = Upper Years, approx age 14+
Two coloured stickers have been used on the spine of each book: one to denote the interest level and another for the book level. An over view of this can be found on the attached ‘Accelerated Reader Book Guide’. A white sticker can also be found on the reverse of each book indicating the quiz number, author, book and interest level and the points available. The points are based on the word count of the book and are awarded to each child according to the quiz success.
The Accelerated Reader programme caters for all reading ages of primary school aged children from Key Stage 1 and runs right through to secondary school, and as such is perfect for all of our children, including the most proficient of readers who on our previous reading scheme may have been classed as a ‘Free Reader’. Over the next few weeks, once class teachers feel that the children are settled and ready, those in Years 2 to Year 6 will sit the Star Reading test and then select their first book to begin their Accelerated Reader journey. Reading books can be taken home and returned to a box in the classroom once finished. This will commence no earlier than Monday 14th September following the completion of the Star Test. A dedicated 20 minute daily independent reading session has been built into the school timetable to provide time for reading (and the completion of quizzes), which is in addition to the teaching of reading and reading comprehension skills. Research shows that the children who make the most progress on the Accelerated Reader programme read for 30 minutes everyday and, therefore, we would like the children to read for at least 10 minutes at home each day.
To help our children learn their weekly spellings we use Spelling Shed. The teachers can set the spelling list, but also children can play games to improve their spelling.