Phonics & reading

Phonics at Polden Bower School

At Polden Bower, we recognise the importance of giving all of our children and young people the opportunity to gain functional literacy skills. Research suggests that the most effective way for all children and young people to learn to read is through a systematic synthetic phonics approach taught by direct instruction. In light of this at Polden Bower, we use a combination of ‘Phase 1 through Twinkl’ and ‘Sounds-Write’ to teach pre-phonics and phonics respectively. This consistent approach across all Key-Stages ensures students are taught in a systematic and carefully structured way. Students progress through small cumulative steps, allowing for plenty of retrieval practice and application.

To read more about Polden Bower's Phonics Strategy click below.

Reading Rationale

At Polden Bower, we recognise the value of reading for pleasure in order to develop critical life-skills and prepare our children and young people for adulthood. Our curriculum is designed to ensure their success through a differentiated approach with ambitious targets. Our themes cover a broad-range of age-appropriate, quality texts through which we teach decoding, fluency, comprehension and spelling, punctuation and grammar. Our approach to reading ensures students are given the opportunity to gain functional literacy by being able to derive meaning from visual and/or tactile representations such as objects, picture, symbols or written words. To encourage a love of reading, encouraging an exploration of a range of genre and to develop confidence in reading, we engage in daily reading sessions through D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read).

Drop Everything and Read is an important part of the day for all children and young people. It is a nurturing and exciting way to develop a love for reading throughout the school. It sends a message that reading for pleasure is important, and something everyone should value and make time for. 

It is a time when an adult reads aloud a story to the young people and shares a text which provides rich language, vocabulary and a great plot. It is also a vital time for children and young people to develop their comprehension via an adult's questioning of the story. D.E.A.R at Polden Bower is adapted for individuals and groups through the use of sensory stories, picture books, plays or audio books. D.E.A.R sits separately to Phonics and English and is a time where children are read to, books are shared and children are exposed to a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts. The aim, to promote the love of reading.

To read more about Polden Bower's Reading Strategy click below.