Phonics is not the only approach we use to teach children to read, there are somewords that children learn by “sight” and at all times we ensure children are readingand understanding what it is they are reading. This is generally referred to as“Reading for Meaning” as opposed to “barking at print” where children are able to decode the words but are not aware of the content, context or implications of the text. We support children to look at the illustrations in books to support them understanding the text. When pupils begin to learn to read, teachers use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
The first books in the scheme are wordless books; the purpose of wordless books is to introduce children to the idea of a book – identifying the cover, the title, the role of the illustrations and to start predicting about the possible story. Children following the sequence presented by the illustrations and telling stories will help them to develop “story” vocabulary which will help when they meet books. Teachers and Teaching assistants will model this for children so that they understand the expectations. When the pupils are ready they will move onto short, simple books with words which the children will read with adults to understand that the words convey meaning and “tell” a story. As their phonetic knowledge develops and they learn to decode words they will begin to read books which are colour coded to ensure children are presented with books appropriate for their stage of development.
The books pupils take home on a daily basis are to consolidate learning and to widen the range of reading experiences following the teaching of reading in school. The school uses a wide range of books to ensure a rich and varied experience for the pupils.