At Sunny Bank Primary School, we aim to create a stimulating literacy environment in which children are actively encouraged to enjoy books, and are motivated to want to read independently from an early age. We believe that pupils should be taught to read effectively for different purposes, acquire key phonics skills and understand the rules governing the structure of language. We also believe that reading for pleasure is imperative if a lifelong love of reading is to be gained.
In Term 5 of this year, we launched our new DFE approved Monster Phonics program to teach and embed phonics from EYFS to Year 2 (and beyond if needed). Monster Phonics is a systematic and synthetic phonics program to aid the teaching and learning of reading. With 10 fabulous monsters that each have their own background story and accompanying sound, our children are able to learn their phonics skills in a fun and exciting way. The scheme uses colour coding to help children master each sound, which is eventually taken away as the children move through the phases and become more confident with their reading skills. For example, Angry red A is a red monster who represents all of the ‘a’ phonemes such as ai, a, ay and a-e.
As part of the scheme, the children will be taught to:
• discriminate between different sounds in real and pseudo words;
• learn the letters and letter combinations most commonly used to spell sounds;
• read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts;
• study written representatives of a sound and how it looks;
• recognise on sight vocabulary identified as ‘ tricky words’.
As Monster Phonics is a multi-sensory scheme, we have invested in a range of excellent resources to ensure all children can make maximum progress in their phonic learning. These include a range of posters, flashcards, magnetic letters and sound cards to name a few.
All children in EYFS to Year 2 have their own Monster Phonics workbook which evidences their phonic learning journey. Each activity is carefully planned to embed the sound/s they are learning during the week. These will continue for any child who will need further phonic support within KS2.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Children are taught to read in the Foundation stage using the Monster Phonics scheme. They are introduced to phases 1-3 throughout their time in the EYFS, which will give them good foundations for learning to read. The Reception high frequency words are introduced alongside reading books for children to develop a good sight vocabulary. Reading books follow the Monster Phonics scheme which allows children to practise the sound they are learning within their phonics lessons. Children will begin using these books once they are able to blend simple CVC words. Beforehand, children will have opportunities to explore a wide variety of books.
Key Stage One (KS1)
Teachers continue to build on the children’s reading skills by modelling good reading and teaching the remaining phases from Monster Phonics. Phonics is taught for 30 minutes per day alongside guided reading which is also 30 minutes daily. In Year 2, phonics is embedded alongside spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Once children have completed the 10 stages of the Monster Phonics reading scheme, they will then be able to access our Accelerated Reading program, or sooner if their class teacher feels they are ready. The guided reading books are colour coded in the same way as the Monster Phonics program to ensure fluidity for our children’s reading.
Children who are not making the expected progress in reading will be identified as part of progress reviews and suitable interventions will be put in place to help them.
Children are introduced to a range of text types including multicultural stories, poems, rhymes, fairy tales, traditional tales, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, non- fiction texts, picture books and stories by significant authors. Children are taught how to read for meaning and answer questions about texts looking at characterisation and plot.
Key Stage Two (KS2)
Teachers are responsible for continuing the phonics programme with the children who need extra support in reading. For children who are working beyond phase 5 of Monster Phonics, teachers will teach spelling strategies and give weekly quizzes during SPAG sessions. Children are given opportunities for silent reading and reading is taught in a similar way to KS1 with a 30-minute guided reading session every day. A range of genres are introduced to older children including autobiographies, letters, diaries, short stories, poems and play scripts. Through shared reading and weekly guided reading sessions, children are taught how to analyse texts and comment on authors’ techniques.
Accelerated Reader has been introduced to the children and weekly high scores are announced in assembly as well as displayed in the library. Children choose their own reading books and any AR book they read they will complete an online quiz and be given a % out of 100% depending on the answers they give to the question, all their quizzes are listed in their own 'library' and parents can log in to 'Home Connect' to see the scores and which books their child has read.
Monster Phonics books can be accessed via our e-book log in. Please click on the link below to take you to the letter you will need to access this site. Your class teacher will inform you of the reading book that your child is reading each week.
At Sunny Bank Primary School our children have access to a large stock of library books. The library has become a hub of excitement and even has a reading vending machine! The Library system enables all the children to be able to access information on our library stock from home. The pupils have a timetabled session as well as being able to visit anytime during the school day where they can choose reading books and levelled Accelerated Reader books. The library is also used across the curriculum for research. The children are encouraged to choose AR books set around their level of reading and are able to log books in and out on our child friendly system, we see this as a very important way in which to develop and promote independent reading.
If you are struggling with phonics or understanding what it means, then watch our training video. We will take you through the steps of phonics, what we do in school and how you can help your child at home.
Together we can ensure your child is a fluent reader and enjoys getting stuck in to a good book!