At Cupernham, we believe that reading is the key to success and underpins children’s access to the curriculum; it clearly impacts on their achievement. To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) and it is the programme that we adopt at Cupernham. We prioritise the teaching of phonics; we teach phonics daily in Year R and Year 1. It is vitally important that children review and revisit Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs) and words, daily, weekly and across terms and years, in order to move this knowledge into the children’s long term memory. Our consistent approach to phonics ensures that children are given the best possible foundation for reading, writing and language skills.
Children need to learn to read as quickly and reasonably as possible, so that they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading. Our expectations of progression are aspirational yet achievable; children who are not keeping up with their peers are given additional practise immediately through keep-up sessions.
Children enjoy a range of multi-sensory resources to support their phonics learning. On-going assessment of children’s progress takes place and the books children read in school and take home to read are fully decodable and matched to children’s secure phonics knowledge. As well as fully decodable books, children take home a non-decodable book for sharing that can be either read to or with them. These books play an essential role in developing a love of reading; an important distinction is that these books are being shared with the children, but they are using fully phonically decodable books to practise their independent reading.