At St John’s Mead CEVC Primary School we teach synthetic phonics throughout the school. We primarily follow Letters and Sounds but use many other resources to support our teaching, including using interactive computer games and videos. The programme is split into six phases. It aims for children to develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling by the end of key Stage 1. Your child’s class teacher will be able to tell you which phase they are working in. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, introducing sounds to the children. Children will then learn further sounds in line with nationally agreed progression. Regular assessment is carried out to inform teaching. Phonics is taught to children in years 4, 5 and 6 where needed in small groups, which may move more towards spelling patterns.
We give a high priority to the basic skills of reading, writing and speaking. Children are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and we aim to develop legible and fluent handwriting with which they can express themselves clearly. They are encouraged to develop an understanding of the use of language and the need for grammatical structure. Spelling is taught and is strongly linked to their handwriting skills. Regular reading habits are encouraged both at school and at home. Reading is developed through a variety of teaching methods. The school has a well-equipped library, which is used extensively by the children. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry are read to the children throughout the school.
The school follows the National Curriculum, introduced by the government in September 2014. Pupils receive a daily Literacy lesson, which lasts about an hour. This lesson involves all children reading a shared text, whole class teaching on phonics, grammar or punctuation, some time spent working independently or in a group and finishes with a plenary session.