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Reading & Phonics

At Beech Academy, we believe that language and literacy is fundamental to the overall development of children and their access to the curriculum in all aspects. We also believe that in the society in which we live, an ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and to read a wide range of texts is essential if children are to achieve their potential throughout their school days and into their adult life.

We aim for learners at The Beech Academy to be able to:

  • Read fluently, accurately and with understanding;
  • Have an interest in books, read for enjoyment and to be able to use reading to help them to learn;
  • Use phonics to support reading and spelling;
  • Understand a range of text types to be able to write in a variety of styles and forms.

At Beech our learners very often arrive with levels below national average and age-related expectations and are lacking in confidence and self-esteem. This can lead to disengagement and a fear of failing. Staff develop learners` confidence and effectively break down the barriers by creating a safe and encouraging environment based on individual needs.

Learners who require additional support are identified and placed in `stage not age` literacy groups. This allows more freedom to challenge the more able learners whilst supporting those struggling with the basics. At Beech we use the Read, Write Inc Fresh Start intervention programme where learner’s complete tasks around phonics, reading, comprehension, handwriting and spelling. They then further develop these skills in English lessons and other subject areas. It is the collective responsibility of all staff in all curriculum areas to ensure that literacy is constantly addressed in order to improve standards and raise levels of attainment.

Reading for pleasure is actively encouraged at The Beech Academy. Book tokens are awarded to motivate and promote reading. Our calm and cosy library environment offers a range of reading material suitable for all reading abilities and interests. The whole school participates daily in the Read Aloud method of a DEAR session (Drop Everything and Read) where staff read to the whole class. Each year group participates in the Accelerated Reader programme where the pupils read a book and take an online quiz, getting immediate feedback. Shared, guided, independent and buddy reading are strategies we use to develop confidence in speaking and listening skills. These create opportunities for everyone to discuss and share positive reading experiences.