In the Early Years, English is known as Communication, Language and English and is one of 6 areas of learning taught on a daily basis, through the indoor and outdoor learning environments. This indoor and outdoor learning is continued into KS1.

In the Early Years and KS1 we lay the foundations to enable children to want to be successful readers and writers. We aim to make the learning in English as ‘real’ to the children as possible, as without a true purpose the children will not see the reason for reading and writing.

Reading books are taken from a selection of publications which have been banded into reading bands. This allows children to select the correct level of reading material with the choice of author and type of book.

At Catmose Primary we follow the order of sounds as prescribed by Letters and Sounds. We supplement this with many other schemes and resources to ensure that the children are learning their sounds in a multisensory approach. e.g. having a picture rhyme or an action to help them remember a particular sound. The children start learning single letter (grapheme) sounds (phoneme). They use these to blend (read) and segment (spell) words. As the children become more confident we teach them to recognise digraphs (2 letters on sound) and trigraphs (3 letters one sound).  Throughout this time children will be engaged in playing games to support their learning and be encouraged to identify and recognise these sounds in their reading books as well as using these to spell words. The children then explore split digraphs (magic e) and alternatives for reading and spelling. All these skills are taught alongside a varied diet of books and other literature to ensure that the children become confident readers, who understand text and love books.

In KS2 a daily GAPS (Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation) focus is taught in groups which are tailored to meet ability needs. This work is then referred to in Writing and Reading focus sessions.

Reading with your child

Here are some simple tips to help your child with reading at home.

Enjoy it!

  • Make book sharing a fun time that you both enjoy – snuggle up with a book!
  • Read old favourites together as well as new books.
  • If your child reads to you, or joins in when you are reading to them, show them that you are proud of what they can do.

Make time and space!

  • Make reading a special part of your day. Try to find a time when you aren’t busy doing other things so you can spend ‘quality time’ reading together – even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  • Try to find a quiet place away from distractions like the television or the computer.
  • Try to find some time every day for reading together – 10 minutes each day is better than a long session once a week.

Be positive

  • Give your child lots of praise, encouragement and support when they read to you. Focus on what they did well, not what they did wrong. Even small successes are important.
  • Never force your child – if they are reluctant to read you could offer a small reward such as playing a game they enjoy. If they are tired or very reluctant, read to them instead.

Found out what they like to read!

  • Sometimes we read for pleasure but much of the time we read for a reason, Read lots of different things together – stories, information books, comics, magazines, websites, cereal packets, TV listings – anything you and your child enjoy reading or need to read.
  • Let your child make his or her own reading choices sometimes. They need to develop their own personal likes and dislikes. It is OK not to like some books! Don’t worry if they choose an ‘easy’ favourite book over and over again. This is normal and helps children build their reading confidence and enthusiasm.
  • Join the local library and let your child choose from the great range of books on offer.

Talk about it!

  • Talking about books will help your child become more involved and interested in reading and can help them understand more.
  • After you’ve read a book together – or anything else you choose to read – talk about it. What was it about? How did it make you feel? What did you like or not like about it? What did you learn? Spend some time looking at the pictures and talk about what they tell you. Never cover the pictures while sharing a book.
  • You can talk with your child about anything – games, TV programmes, films or other things you do together.