At Fresh Steps we believe that reading is a life skill that unlocks learning in all areas of the curriculum. We give reading the highest priority to ensure all our pupils develop fluent reading skills. Additionally, we aim to ensure that all pupils will read easily and with good understanding, develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information, acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar, be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
We want to cultivate a love of reading for pleasure, by exposing the children to high-quality texts and giving them opportunities to read across a broad range of genres and authors.
Junior Learning - Letter and Sounds
We follow the Letter and Sounds reading and phonics Scheme, which is a DfE- approved systematic, synthetic phonics scheme (SSP).
Letters and Sounds is a systematic approach for teaching children to read using phonics. It is split into six phases where letter sounds are introduced in a progression so that children can build on their knowledge and skills throughout the program.
The six phases are: phonemic awareness (phase 1), letter sounds (phase 2), phonics (phase 3), blends (phase 4), vowel sounds (phase 5), spelling (phase 6). Each phase has been colour-coded and resources can be used. Please see the Letter and Sounds website for parent information.
Reading for Pleasure
There is a big emphasis on reading for pleasure for all of our pupils. All classes have designated time to read. Pupils are always encouraged to use our fantastic library.
We promoted independent reading as well as group reading.
Books going home
Some pupils take books home every Tuesday. Pupils will take home a matched decodable reading book to practice at home what they are learning at school. Pupils who are fluent readers are encouraged to bring and share their favourite books to school.
At Fresh Steps we want our children to feel part of a broader community that values literacy and learning by participating in events and sharing books. Book Day is a perfect occasion to create a supportive and positive environment for learning, where children feel encouraged to explore their interests and develop their reading skills. Pupils can bring their favourite books and read them to others, dressing up as their favourite characters from their favourite stories and participating in many activities linked to this event.
We are proud to have inspirational speakers visiting our school. Rudolph Walker often visits us and provides inspirational role models and positive activities which empower our young people to overcome the obstacles they may face in life, and build positive futures, as limitless as their imaginations.
Our reading provision ensures all children learn basic reading skills and build confidence in reading. Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of Primary (if appropriate). As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.