We teach the key skills of English (as a spoken language, read and written) discretely in literacy and in context through our carefully planned topic work . Our aim is to inspire children to read and write independently, skilfully and with pleasure.

Reading covers a range of skills, word reading, comes first. Phonics, matching letters and sounds – then the techniques of independent decoding and blending grow alongside the understanding of word structure and the historical links between words in the English language. Recall of key words and sight vocabulary grows in line with the age related stages of the National Curriculum. At the same time we teach how to understand and take delight in stories and other books, at first by sharing and listening but as soon as possible by fostering a love of independent pleasure in reading. All this supports children in their own comprehension of a range of texts and sets them off into a world where they appreciate and enjoy a positive relationship with the written word.

At Woodlands Infant and Nursery School phonics learning begins in Nursery where children are regularly exposed to Nursery rhymes and songs, joining in and beginning to identify the patterns of rhyme and alliteration. They play listening games, both musical and environmental, to develop the children’s listening and attention skills as well as games that involve identifying and saying the different sounds they hear in words. As children become more confident they begin to notice and discuss written print and letters in their environment taking opportunities to talk about graphemes/letter sounds they may recognise such as the letters of their name.

When children have developed these early skills they begin to follow the Read Write Inc programme. This is a programme of short daily phonics sessions for 4 to 7 year-olds learning to read and write. Children learn the English alphabetic code with clear progression throughout the programme; first learning one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learning to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. The children write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling the words using the graphemes they know. By the end of year 1 children are accurate and speedy readers and are ready to move off the Ruth Miskin phonics programme.