St Giles School

St Giles School

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Reading and Phonics

'The reading experience'


The phonics and reading experience at our school


At St. Giles we teach phonics through a systematic approach that introduces information appropriately, allowing the child time to learn, practise and master newly acquired skills before additional complexities are added. Children develop the prerequisite skills that are required for phonics through games and learning activities that develop their listening and attention along with supporting their auditory memory. These learning activities include developing understanding at word level (matching words to objects) before moving onto learning to discriminate sounds within the environment and during musical experiences.


When children are ready, they move on to more formalised phonic sessions. We follow the DfES publication 'Letters and Sounds' which consists of 6 phases. Due to the wide range of needs and abilities, we continue to progress through these phases in to Key Stage 2. For continuity across the school we use Ruth Miskin’s, Read, Write Inc Mnemonics to support sound pronunciation and letter formation.


Phonics learning activities are creatively differentiated to meet the children’s individual needs and are taught through a ‘total communication’ approach. All children are taught to read through a variety of means which is individualised for each child and works alongside with the progression of their phonic knowledge.


Children at St. Giles access reading through ‘The Reading Experience’. This is where children share the 'love of reading' through using books that motivate them, holding their interests and giving them pleasure. Some children access tactile sensory books and complete activities that work on the pre-requisite skills to reading. Children “read” signs, symbols, words, numbers and pictures within the environment. As children become more confident in using books they engage in a variety of reading schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds and New Way which are book banded, allowing the children to progress in their reading.