Learning & support
Learning to read
At the academy we start the process of teaching our children to read using systematic synthetic phonics. We use the system called Read write Inc. You can download a comprehensive parent leaflet on this method of teaching reading from this link Read Write Inc. Experience shows us that some children find learning phonics easier if they combine this with being very active. We therefore select a small group of children each learning block to take part in 'active phonics' sessions which combines PE with learning phonics.
As children move beyond learning to say the sounds that the letters and blends of letters make, they start to learn about basic spelling, grammar and punctuation. In addition they also learn comprehension skills - this means making sure that they actually understand what they are reading. We use whole class reading (pupils are read stories), guided reading (reading in small groups with a teacher or teaching assistant who talks with the pupils about what they are reading and checks their understanding and individual reading as a variety of strategies to enhance scholar skills. Programmes such as No Nonsense Grammar, No Nonsense Spelling and The Power of Reading to support literacy development across the academy.
Research shows that children who read for pleasure do much better at school than those that don't. We therefore strongly encourage all our children to read outside the academy. It doesn't matter if this is a story book, a magazine or even web pages - as long as they are reading and enjoying it (for our youngest pupils its all about having them enjoy the pictures in a book and listening to stories). It is generally better to get a book that is quite easy for the child to read as this will encourage them to read more. Even better if parents can spend some time each day reading with their children and modelling reading for their own pleasure. This sets up good habits in children for life. In order to encourage our scholars to read all staff within the academy have a display frame showing the book/magazine that they are currently reading. Both staff and children are strongly encouraged to have regular conversations about what they are reading.
Teachers and senior staff will check the progress of every child in the academy. If we feel that any child needs some additional support in because they are not making the progress that we think they should, then we will arrange for them to have this until they catch up. This intervention might be some one to one work with a teaching assistant, it could be working in a different class group, some additional time reading, doing phonics or maths mental recall. Children who are having intervention will be re-assessed after a further learning block to check that the intervention has led to sufficient progress. We will keep parents informed of any interventions that we arrange.