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Reading & Phonics

Reading and Phonics at Truro Learning Academy

At Truro Learning Academy we want our children to learn not just the reading skills but also the enjoyment of literature, enabling children to become lifelong, confident readers.  Our children begin their reading journey through explicit teaching of Phonics through daily Read, Write Inc sessions in Early Years and KS1 and Freshstart phonics in KS2. These comprise of learning different graphemes, focussing on oral phonological skills and sight vocabulary. During these sessions children are also explicitly shown how to apply their developing skills to their writing. All children are assessed half termly and grouped in accordance with their individual needs.  

In EYFS and KS1, children are given Read Write Inc book bag books which are matched to the sounds that they are learning in their phonics sessions. When children are ready or when they have finished the phonics programme, children then move onto Accelerated Reader. Within AR the children quiz regularly on the books that they are reading and move through sub-levels that are closely matched to their reading level.  

Home reading is expected at least 5 times a week and is an integral part of the child’s development. In order to have strong communication between teachers and parents/carers, each child has a reading journal where both the staff and parents can write comments about how the child is progressing with his/her reading.  

Your role in your child’s success continues to be key.  When your child brings home a school reader, please continue to help them with difficult words and phrases that they may find difficult to read or understand.  There may be some difficult ideas and themes that they may find difficult to understand that will need unpicking, especially as your child moves to higher levels.  As far as possible, children should be encouraged to read independently either to you or quietly on their own.  Follow up by asking your child questions about what it is they have read: Who were the main characters? What was the main event? How did the chapter end?

Developing a love of reading 

At Truro Learning Academy we recognise the importance of children learning to love to read and enjoying the books that they choose to read: 

  • At TLA we use Talk for Writing which is a scheme to help children with Storytelling and forms a key part of our teaching based on high quality texts – much thought goes into the selection of texts to ensure exposure to high level vocabulary. 

  • We have a dedicated book corner in every year group 

  • All class teachers read to the children daily 

Please click on the documents below for information on how to help your child with reading at home.

Read, Write, Inc

Phonics is the systematic teaching of all the common sounds in the English language (RWI calls these the Speed Sounds). Children are taught to recognise the sounds and to put them together (‘sound blend’ them) into words for reading.

Children are taught one way of representing the 44 main sounds of English first, and then go on to learn the alternative spellings later on. 

When teaching the letter sounds, it is important to remember to keep them very ‘pure’ and distinct, to help with sound-blending later on. To enable your child to gain confidence in reading, they should only be asked to read words containing letter sounds they know securely.

Read Write Inc. introduces the simple Speed Sounds (one sound, one grapheme) with Speed Sounds Set 1 and Set 2. They then learn more ways of writing the same sounds with the complex Speed Sounds Set 3. Children are taught letter names before moving on to Speed Sounds Set 3.

Once children know the first set of Speed Sounds, they are ready to read the first Storybooks.

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