Teaching reading and phonics

Teaching children to read is of utmost importance at Bidston Village CE Primary School and we believe reading is a life enhancing skill that is the entitlement of every child. We provide a rounded and wholesome approach that encourages children to love books, to love reading, to love finding out information and to love sharing stories together. 

At Bidston Village, reading begins in Nursery – this involves handling books, sharing stories, talking about books, including books on our displays, labeling areas and objects in the classroom and basic phonic recognition.

This vital work is then continued into Reception where phonics are taught using a systematic, synthetic phonic approach as the prime approach to word recognition. All teachers and teaching assistants have been trained in these effective and proven approaches to the teaching of reading.

Phonics, loosly based around Letters and Sounds,  are taught daily to all children in EYFS and KS1 with the expectation that they will have secured word recognition skills and be fluent readers by the end of KS1. This teaching is further enhanced by the Phonics Play website, which the school subscribes to.

Guided Reading is taught throughout the school. At all stages teachers plan a series of reading activities for pupils to complete both in school and at home to enable pupils to both read, comprehend and read for pleasure. Progression is ensured at Bidston Village using graded books to both support and challenge our young learners and interventions are available in all year groups if children require further support and assistance in any area of reading.

The school continues to invest in reading materials and a new school library has recently been completed and will be available for the children and parents to use soon.

We think it is important that the school environment reflects a positive attitude to reading and children are given lots of opportunities to apply their reading across the curriculum.

Parental involvement in reading is encouraged with home-school reading record log books.  

Reading Schemes and Links

Bidston Village utilises a variety of different reading schemes.

This offers a range of different book styles, characters and settings to ensure there is a good breadth in the reading materials the children are learning from.

In KS1, the primary scheme used is Oxford Reading Tree. We have used this scheme for many years with early readers. It gives the children a solid foundation, with good progression built in. To support the phonics programme, the school also used Floppy's Phonics and Songbird Phonics, also from Oxford Reading Tree.

Guided Reading books are provided by a wider range of schemes including Story World and Discovery World by Heinemann and Lighthouse by Pearson

In KS2, a wider range of book schemes is used as children move away from the security of Biff, Chip and Floppy. The children use the Project X and Treetops schemes (also from ORT), mixed with other schemes such as Ginn.

We are further enhancing the range of reading materials across the school in the near future with a £6000 book order!

Spelling at Bidston Village

In 2014, the government issued lists of words children were expected to be able to spell at different ages. These words are a mixture of words that children use frequently when they are writing and words that children often misspell.

The full wording of the government guidelines, which includes phonics teaching, can be found in the document below.

These words are taught to the children as part of specific spelling sessions (which may include phonics teaching as well in Key Stage 1 and Year 3).

Children may also take these spellings home to learn for spelling tests at different points, but we also a separate list of spellings that follow spelling patterns for the majority of our spelling lessons and testing.

It would be a great help to your child if you can practise spelling some of the words on the lists at home when your child is reading. The lists are available on the right hand side of this page.