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Reading and Phonics
We teach reading through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme.
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves.
How will my child be taught to read?
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the foundation stage. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are. The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
How long will it take to learn to read well?
By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.
How do I know the teaching will be good?
All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. Reading coordinator and Senior leadership watch teachers teaching to make sure that the children are learning how we want them to learn.
What can I do to help? Is there anything that I shouldn’t do?
You will be invited to observe how your child is learning phonics in school during their reception year. Please come and support your child. We would very much like you to know how to help.
Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly here: http://www.ruthmiskin.com
If you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. Oxford Owl is a super dedicated website for parents with a wealth of helpful advice on synthetic phonics and over 260 free eBooks.
Does it matter if my child misses a lesson or two?
It matters a lot if your child misses school. The way we teach children to read is very well organised, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.
Connect with Read Write Inc.
Parents can find out about Read Write Inc on their Facebook page.
Music content – coming soon….
At St Mary and St Michael School we believe that Physical Education (PE) plays a fundamental role in a child’s development. Physical Education (PE) can inspire and challenge an individual. We understand that a positive and well balanced PE curriculum can lead to lifelong participation in sport and can help children lead healthy active lifestyles.
All children at key stage one and two participate in two hours of PE a week. We ensure our PE curriculum meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and provide learning opportunities in dance, games, gymnastics, athletics and outdoor education. In addition, children in years 2, 3, 4 and 5 will also complete a term of swimming. It is expected that all children change into their PE kit during lessons.
Our passion for PE was recognised in 2014/15 by being the first school in Tower Hamlets to receive a Sainsbury School Games Gold Award. Since then we have maintained our Gold standard and have worked closely with the Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation to help raise the profile of PE within Tower Hamlets primary schools.
Since September 2021 St Mary and St Michael Primary School adopted the programme, Life to the Full, by Ten Ten Resources. Ten Ten is an award-winning Catholic educational organisation that is well-respected and very experienced in this field of work.
Furthermore, Ten Ten have entered into a partnership with the Catholic Education Service and the Department for Education to provide training for teachers in Catholic schools on the subject of the new statutory curriculum. Therefore, we are confident that this programme is a very good fit for our school.
Through their programme, Ten Ten understand the foundational role that parents and carers have in educating and nurturing their children on these matters. Within the programme, they have built in resources which will not only keep you informed about what is being taught in school, but will also give you the opportunity to engage your children in discussion, activity and prayer.
Ten Ten also provide an Online Parent Portal which is a tool parents and carers can use throughout the year to keep you informed and updated about the work we are doing in school.
|Online Parent Portal|
|School login: mary-michael-e1|
|School password: river-deep-85|