Reading and phonics at Christ Church School

At Christ Church we aim to teach children to become confident readers. We use a carefully structured reading scheme, which offers a range of fiction and nonfiction books at every level.

Phonics is taught systematically across Reception and Key Stage 1. We use Letters and Sounds, the Government guidance on synthetic phonics teaching, with use of additional resources from the Jolly Phonics scheme, and plan fun and interactive lessons to engage young children. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 there are dedicated phonics sessions (between three and five each week), taught outside Literacy lessons.

The Reception class follows the EYFS practice guidance for Literacy, Communication and Language.
The reading Programme of Study for Key Stage 1 consists of objectives focusing on reading strategies; reading for information; literature; and language structure and variation.

The reading Programme of Study for Key Stage 2 consists of objectives focusing on reading strategies; understanding texts; reading for information; literature; non-fiction and non-literary texts; and language structure and variation.

At Christ Church we value the contribution parents make to the teaching of reading. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, every child has a reading record which teachers and parents complete. The reading record charts a child’s reading progress. Teachers will offer guidance, praise and reassurance to parents about their child’s reading. As well as the reading record and informal discussions about reading with parents, teachers report to parents about reading progress at parents evenings twice a year.

We also hold reading workshops for parents in the Autumn term. These meetings give parents the opportunity to learn more about how they can best support their child’s reading progress.

We recognise the importance of listening to individual children read. Teachers listen to individual children read weekly. Children also read to a teaching assistant and some children will receive additional support from our volunteer reading helper. Once a child is reading fluently then weekly guided reading sessions will take the place of individual reading. In guided reading, a group of children share a book with the teacher. They may discuss the plot, characters and writing techniques used by the author. Guided reading sessions take place both within and outside Literacy lessons, as appropriate to the text type being studied and the age and ability of the children.

Reading has a high profile at Christ Church. We aim to introduce children to a wealth of good children’s literature. Every class regularly enjoys story time at the end of the day and books are often used as a stimulus for work in other curriculum areas. Each class loans books from Camden’s library service each term and we celebrate World Book Day in March every year.