We believe that a high quality education should teach all pupils to fluently speak, read and write English, enabling them to communicate their ideas and emotions, and to understand the communications of others in turn. Through reading, pupils develop culturally, emotionally, socially, intellectually and spiritually. Reading enables pupils both to acquire new knowedge and to build on what they already know. All in all, language skills are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
Our approach to phonics and reading
At Ark Byron we use the Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) Phonics programme: a synthetic phonics and literacy programme for all Reception and Year 1 children within the school. Children learn the 44 common phonetic sounds and how to independently blend them, as well as learning to read and spell words that do not conform to regular phonetic patterns (High Frequency Words). This enables pupils to decode words on the page and to ultimately become skilled and confident readers.
RWI sessions take place every single day for all reception and Year 1 (and some Year 2) pupils; pace and consistency is key to developing reading skills quickly and enabling children to access the rest of the school curriculum.
In Reception we use a different book each week as a focus for learning. From Year 1 onwards children have daily reading lessons - the 'Reading Revolution' programme - where they engage with a challenging range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Children are guided to develop their comprehension and inference skills through discussion, performance and teacher led activities. We believe that all pupils should be given access to high quality literature and these books are usually linked to the half-termly topic, to support the development of vocabulary and knowledge of the topic.
The school also benefits from its own library where pupils are supported to select books of interest to them.