Reading, Phonics & Spelling

Reading

At Stone C of E School children have access to a wide variety of high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We have a well-stocked library that each class visits weekly. The library is also opened by our lovely volunteers at lunch time, on a number of occasions across the week, in order to allow our children to change their books more regularly and develop a love of reading.

Reading is taught through methods such as shared and guided reading to develop both the skills of decoding and reading comprehension. Children take home books from school from a range of reading books which have been grouped together using book bands. Children are considered to be ‘free readers’ after their class teacher feels that they are ready to move on from the final book band books. Each child is given a Reading Record to record their reading journey.

Phonics

Children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 are taught phonics following the progression of the New National Curriculum and through the phonics programme Read, Write, Inc.  Synthetic Phonics is taught explicitly in Early Years and Year 1, using the Read, Write, Inc. programme of teaching, with children progressing to a more spelling and grammar based focus during Year 2.

Spelling

At Stone we teach spelling through a range of different strategies to enable each learner to access the curriculum. Learning spelling strategies is an individual process, and giving children different strategies will enable them to choose an appropriate method which works for them. Effective spelling strategies should include a combination of reading and writing, together with quality teaching. We use the following primary strategies in order to provide the children with a range of effective methods to draw on when spelling an unfamiliar word:

  • Phonetic spelling strategies: This strategy is the most useful basis for early spelling and is a primary focus in KS1. As children move into KS2 and beyond, it is important that they have this foundation on which they can build a more extensive strategic approach.
  • Visual spelling strategy: Learning how a word looks and visualising the word can be extremely effective; some learners find this method a key to successful learning.
  • Mnemonics: This method is useful in giving the children a memory device by which to learn the spelling pattern of a specific word.
  • Rule-based strategies: Teaching a number of spelling rules and understanding syllables help give children a secure understanding of the theory behind spelling patterns.
  • Word meaning strategies: Helping children understand what words mean can support their spelling of those words. Explaining how these words are derived, how prefixes and suffixes are added to root words and how to form abbreviations and compound words, can all support confidence and accurate spelling.

We believe that teaching a range of strategies is essential so that some of these strategies become automatic and instinctive for learners in their work.