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Mendham Primary School

Reading & Phonics

Literacy and languages are central to the school day – children at Waveney Valley Partnership Schools love reading! At Waveney Valley Partnership we teach children to read by following a systematic reading programme. This centres on letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

The children begin by learning 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts. Very soon they are learning to blend the sounds and are reading lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out. This system also enables children to learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds and to write words by blending the sounds. Soon they are writing simple sentences. Children are taught for approximately 20 minutes daily in a structured way that builds upon previous knowledge. Their progress is reviewed regularly. Our schools use a variety of different reading scheme books such as Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds, Light House, Rigby Star, Tadpoles and Leapfrog to support early reading development.

The children will complete the Phonics screening assessment at the end of Year 1. Retaking where necessary in Year 2.

The school has a well stocked library, while the school uses a variety of reading schemes to engage our learners, books are banded using the IOE book banding scheme. Our readers travel through the eleven different book bands before becoming “Free readers”.

The development of English is seen to be critically important for all our children, in addition to a daily Literacy session of an hour and a half. All children from reception to year 6 also receive a weekly 30 minute French lesson. In year 6 children are also taught Latin and Roman Studies – exploring one of the key root languages leading to the development of modern English. We follow the ‘Minimus – Latin for beginners’ scheme.