The Belmont Approach To Phonics & Reading
At Belmont, we use FFT’s Success for All Phonics programme, which is a complete Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme validated by the Department for Education. Success for All Phonics provides 68 fully decodable reading books (Shared Readers), daily phonics and reading lesson plans, assessment tools, picture cards, mnemonics for letter formation and all other teaching resources needed to support the effective teaching of phonics from EYFS to the end of Year 1.
Success for All Phonics is implemented from the beginning of Reception, where we first focus on learning letter sounds and names through internalising the alphabet chant. We teach phonics daily through twenty to thirty-minute whole-class sessions, time dependent on year group. Having regular opportunities to learn and consolidate their phonic knowledge enables children to make a smooth transition from Reception to Key Stage 1. Our daily lesson plans cover all the main Grapheme–Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs) and Common Exception Words (CEWs) to provide children with the phonic knowledge and skills required for success in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. In order to effectively measure and respond to pupil progress in phonics, we undertake phonics assessments for each child and complete these six times over the course of the academic year (once each half-term).
As well as daily phonics sessions, Success for All Phonics also consists of daily thirty-minute reading lessons which build upon the knowledge taught in phonics lessons. This provides regular opportunities for the children to put their phonics into practice by blending words which include the focus phoneme for each day.
Success for All Phonics is also hugely effective in teaching children who are new to English or learning phonics for the first time. It is fully aligned with FFT’s reading tutoring programme (Tutoring with the Lightning Squad), which is used to provide catch-up support for children where necessary across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Reading - Talk for Reading
Talk for Reading, developed by Pie Corbett, is the structure which is used to teach children to read at Belmont Community Primary School.
Pie says, “It aims to develop children into efficient, effective, thoughtful and strategic readers who can learn about life, discover information and deepen their thinking through considering other people’s views and experiences with a critical mind.”
This process is based around the exploration of texts which would be considered ‘challenging’ to children working at age related
expectation. Through appropriate levels of scaffolding from the teaching team, children are encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas and use these to generate a clear understanding of the text’s purpose and meaning. By the end of each cycle, the children develop a good understanding of the text they have studied and are then able to independently answer a series of questions provided by the teacher.
The process utilises the following flexible structure:
Children listen to and track a text. They explore the language and answer simple fact retrieval questions. At this stage, predictions can also be made and children are encouraged to give their opinions on the impact of the chosen text.
Children are taught to make links between different phrases, lines and paragraphs/stanzas. They learn to identify patterns and explain what these patterns mean by paraphrasing and assigning quotes to their opinion. They also take on the role of key figures from the text which they have studied and act/write in role as their chosen character.
The final action of this phase is for the children to prepare a performance either independently or as a group which uses the understanding which they have developed to ensure full confidence and fluency.
Children independently apply everything that they have learned when asked questions relating to the text. These draw upon the deep, rich collective conversations that have taken place. In this final phase, the students demonstrate understanding independently. This may be through writing about the text, in a discursive essay style, writing something similar (drawing on the same style and structure) or by answering in depth questions and comprehension activities.
Developing a ‘Love of Reading’ at Belmont Community Primary School
At Belmont Community Primary School Primary Federation, we want our children to enjoy and love reading. We ensure they have access to a broad range of books from both narrative and non-narrative genres and have opportunities to read throughout the school day. Our teachers act as role-models and select engaging and exciting extended reading books which are shared during our reading time at the end of each school day. As part of the wider curriculum, we encourage regular exploration of supporting texts in all foundation subjects.