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Phonics and Early Reading

At Montbelle we want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books. We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through their time at Montbelle. Core texts are used to support learning across the curriculum and there are also daily opportunities for reading for Pleasure and a weekly visit to our school library.

Reading underpins children's access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally.

Early Reading

To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established. At Montbelle, we are introducing the Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds validated Phonics programme in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Little Wandle letters and sounds

Programme Overview Reception and Year 1

Capital Letter Formation

Pronciation Guide Autumn 1

Pronunciation Guide Autumn 2

Phase 3 Grapheme information Sheet

Fluent decoding is only one component of reading. Comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read.

Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have more secure general knowledge.

Your child will read three times a week in a Guided Reading session at school. They will read books where they can read fluently and encounter the sounds they are learning in a context: children will read the same text a number of times. This supports children to fully embed their phonics learning and build on the fluency that will support their next steps.

We also have reading volunteers who may read with your child to support their learning. If you wish to become a reading volunteer please contact the office.

Our Early Reading Policy can be read here:

Early Reading Policy

How to support developing readers at home:

  • Your child will read the text with you that they have read in school: do find time to read it with your child.
  • Share other books with your child on a regular basis to develop a love of reading for pleasure – 10 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week.  It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine.
  • Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using phonic skills to read any unfamiliar words, and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.
  • Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
  • Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs, leaflets etc.
  • Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.
  • Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.

some questions to ask your child about the book they are reading.

During the year, Parent Workshops are delivered during the school year to support our parents understanding of Phonics and early acquisition of reading skills. National events such as World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day are celebrated in school, alongside other events which have previously included visits from authors, story telling workshops and even a stories around the camp fire event.

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