Children are regularly read to by adults and are encouraged to choose to read a range of stories, rhymes and non-fiction books from the class reading area, either to themselves or with friends. They are taught to understand the meaning of text, to decode letters and words and, in time, to read sentences and whole books. Children often learn to read in a different way and at a different pace from their peers. Therefore, we teach reading in different ways so that each individual child's needs are met.
From the beginning of Nursery, we teach children that their mark making or writing can convey meaning by asking them to read it to or with us. A range of learning opportunities is planned for so that children experience writing in a range of contexts. For example, they may write letters, notes, to tell a story or to add a caption to a drawing. Children are encouraged to think about the vocabulary that they use in their writing and to use any 'interesting' words they may have learned. Children achieve readiness for writing as their fine motor skills develop and they become more able to hold and control objects, tools and writing implements. In Nursery and Reception, children are taught the correct formation of letters as part of their phonics sessions, to help reinforce the link between sounds of letters and letter shapes.
The teaching of phonics begins in the Nursery, where children develop their listening skills and learn to distinguish one sound from another by joining in with rhymes and songs and by playing games. They begin to learn to link letter shapes to sounds and to sound and recognise the letters in their own names and other common words. In Reception, a discrete phonics lesson is taught daily but phonic skills and knowledge are also linked to learning to read and spell. Children are taught to hear, say, recognise and write all of the single letter sounds of the alphabet and their corresponding letter shapes. They are also taught the sounds of combinations of letters. We use a range of resources to teach phonic skills but draw mainly on two schemes: Read, Write, Inc and Jolly Phonics.