At Elmhurst, Literacy is embedded across the curriculum throughout the school day. In KS1 and EYFS on a daily basis, we participate in dedicated phonics session, English lessons, Guided Reading, shared reading across all curriculum areas, story time and regular small group Literacy learning.
The systematic teaching of Phonics through Letters and Sounds at Elmhurst provides a solid development of our children's reading and writing skills. For children to be able to decode new and unfamiliar words they need to be able to segment and blend the sounds (phonemes) in the words. These skills are taught in phonics sessions throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Years 3 and 4. They are also taught through other lessons in school where the children are encouraged to read independently or with a group. During the daily phonics sessions, letters and their sounds are practiced and applied, segmenting and blending skills for reading are taught and modelled.
The teaching of phonics is fast-paced, and filled with fun activities, such as singing, rapping, word hunting and phonics games. From Year 2, children also have daily Guided Reading sessions which are planned and structured to develop all areas of reading. A range of books are used in Guided Reading to provide children with the necessary breadth of text to engage readers of all ages and abilities. Guided Reading is an important part of the curriculum and is used in conjunction with other approaches (such as shared reading, class texts, phonics and independent reading), and enables teachers to provide very effective support for pupil progress in reading.
Individually, our children are involved in reading activities with their teachers and learning support assistants. Every child chooses reading books from our banded scheme each week to share at home. Parents and children are actively encouraged to share these books together every evening, alongside their weekly library book. Our home learning activities, linked to each Key Stage topic, also give them cross-curricular reading opportunities at home.
Our school library is also available to pupils before school, at break and lunchtime so that children can choose a library book to take and read at home. The library is regularly updated through the Buckinghamshire Schools Library Service to ensure texts are up-to-date and appropriate to our learners.
At Elmhurst we celebrate and value our reading achievement at every level, and aim to provide a stimulating reading environment in which our children make good progress and develop a lifelong love of reading.
Our Reading Corners