At Saint Francis we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme for learning phonics. Children begin in our reception classes with the introduction of Phase 1 which tends to progress quickly on to Phase 2. Each class tailors the pace of progression to the requirements of the individuals within their class and often our reception classes are introduced to Phase 3. Work continues on Phase 3 to 6 throughout Key Stage 1 and again children work in appropriate groups for their needs. As we aim for our children to be secure in their phonic knowledge Phase 6 can continue into Key Stage 2.
For reading, pupils at Saint Francis from Reception class upwards use the nationally recognised Oxford Reading Tree Scheme, supplemented with other supportive schemes. Pupils commence at Stage 1 and as the class teacher is confident with a pupils reading, fluency and comprehension of the books within the stage they are then progressed onto the next stage. When a pupil has completed the scheme or has shown the level of competency required the class teacher would then move the pupil onto being a ‘free reader’. At this point pupils are able to select and read any book from the collections held in school or they can choose a book from home. We strongly believe in promoting an interest in reading and encourage children to read a wide range of genre. Every classroom has a book area offering a variety of age appropriate reading materials including fiction, non-fiction and poetry and our school library which is currently undergoing a reorganisation and improvement plan is at the very heart of our school and our aim is to promote its use by all ages. In addition to children within the school being heard read by an adult on a regular basis children take part in guided reading sessions, attend lunchtime book clubs and as a school we currently support the Kent Messenger Buster Book Club initiative aimed at encouraging children to become habitual readers.