Arkholme Church of England Primary School

At Arkholme Church of England Primary School we believe in creating a love of reading throughout the school. Reading is a skill that not only provides children with a gateway to learning, but also a door into a world of enjoyment, imagination and creativity. We have a strong reading culture, which has been developed in partnership with staff, children and parents, by creating welcoming reading areas in classrooms, school and class libraries with a variety of books, regular access to Lancashire Library Service via the mobile library, reading competitions, book fairs, and enrichment activities such as World Book Day fancy dress.

We follow the systematic synthetic phonics programme, Red Rose Phonics, where children are taught the phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. When children start school it is crucial that they develop phonic skills that allow them to precisely and accurately say the sound which each letter, or group of letters, makes. The teaching of phonics is of high priority to all teachers as it enables pupils to decode for reading and encode for spelling. We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable. Children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practice and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.

We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, speaking and listening, songs, rhymes and practical activities. Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with reading and writing activities. Alongside the teaching of phonics, children have access to a language rich environment where they are able to apply their decoding skills and develop language comprehension in order to ‘read’.

In nursery, children choose a book each week to take home and enjoy reading with their parents, Towards the end of nursery, the children are given books without words, to look at, at home. When the children start Reception, they begin to learn the phonic sounds in phase 2 alongside the tricky words. Books matched to the phonic sounds learnt are sent home and children are expected to read every night at home. They will also be listened to read at least 3 times per week at school. The children will progress through the Red Rose Phonics scheme in Reception and year 1. Children will be provided with daily intervention to prevent them falling behind in phonics.