This week’s message (Friday 06 October 2023)

Friday 06 October 2023

Thank you if you voted in the recent governor elections to find a new parent governors, and a particular thank you to the five parents who put themselves forward. In total, there were 139 votes – a good spread across the three Sphere Federation schools. The candidate with the most votes was Candidate B on the voting form: Steven Trangmar, who’s a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University.

The main parts of this week’s message come from two of the Sphere Federation leaders. Mrs Latham, the Early Reading and Phonics Leaders, has written the first section. Miss Wilson, the Reading Leader. has written the second.

For children at the early stages of reading…

We’re off to a flying start with our reading! Our Reception children started phonics lessons in Week 2 and are rapidly acquiring the skills to become readers. We use the government validated systematic synthetic phonics scheme Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.

Children in Year 1 and Year 2 have also got back into phonics lessons quickly. The lessons happen every day and last half an hour (Reception build up to this over time). In these lessons, children are taught how a letter or letters (‘graphemes’) match to sounds (‘phonemes’).

We also have reading practice groups for children to use and apply their phonics skills four times a week. These are small group sessions, led by an adult, where children read a book that is matched to the phonics they know. The focus is very much on practising reading.

Your child can then share their phonics reading success at home by accessing the same text as an e-book. Please make sure you do this every week. We monitor if and when children are accessing the e-books.

Year 1 or 2 children who have secure phonic knowledge will begin to access a wider variety of books in school and to take home.

Children also take a sharing book home. These books are to enjoy together and read for pleasure. The focus is very much on enjoyment – developing a love of reading. Enjoy stories, predict what might happen and use different voices for the characters. Information books (non-fiction) can also be so much fun to share – finding out facts and discussing new information. Above all: make it enjoyable!

For more experienced readers…

We’ve made a fantastic start to reading this year and have already read a variety of texts – we’ve learned about scientists, read poetry and really got stuck into our class novels.

Enjoy a weekend of reading!