Literacy in Primary One

As the previous post explained, we will be taking a developmental approach to literacy.  Emerging Literacy will be the base of our teaching and when your child is ready we will support their learning in other ways:

  • Jolly Phonics

We use the Jolly Phonics scheme to help children learn their initial sounds. When we do begin this, your child will learn at a pace that is suitable for them.  The letters are not introduced in alphabetical order.  They are introduced in random order so that they children can quickly learn to blend some of the letters together to make simple words e.g. s  a  t  i  p  – makes many three letter words.

The children listen to a short story to introduce the new sound and learn the action that helps them to remember the sound.  They are encouraged to think of words that use this sound and to bring in small items from home to share with us.  They are then shown how to form the letter correctly and are encouraged to use the correct formation when writing.  We go over formations in lots of practical ways as well as using paper and pencil.  Please encourage this at home too.

Each day a new sound is introduced, it will be stuck into their Sound Book.  They will take this home each night and will be asked to draw a picture of something starting with that sound or do a more “hands on” activity to help them remember the sound and how it is written.  They could record this in drawings, photos or in which ever way you choose!

If they are ever too tired to do this, don’t worry.  Let us know in your child’s diary and we will try and find time at school to work with your child.

  • Reading

Our main reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT).  It is a scheme that encourages reading through the “story method” which is based on the assumption that, although young children may not “understand” separate letters or isolated words on a page, they can understand and retain a simple story.  The pictures and text work together to give the children clues to help them predict the meaning of the sentences.

Taking into account the development approach to literacy, the children will not get reading books straight away and will be given books home to read when they show that they are ready and have all the building blocks needed to be able to do this with success.

As they approach this stage, we will still be introducing the ORT characters and looking at how their names are written and the beginning key words they will need when the books do go home.

Reading will be heard daily and reading homework will be sent home each night.  Please sign the diary to say it has been done.  Depending on their readiness for reading, they may not all get a reading book at the same time.

Discussion is an important element in the scheme, not only at Stage 1, but also throughout the scheme.

At every stage, a wide range of resources to support reading development is used.  This means that your child is practising reading in many different and enjoyable ways.

The story books at Stage 1 use pictures without any words to tell the story.  These picture storybooks teach children important skills:

  • to talk about the pictures
  • to create their own story
  • to make the connection between the picture and the story

These skills are invaluable as they will be needed later on to help the child read an unfamiliar word.

At Stage 2 the children begin to read the stories by themselves.  First they hear an extended version of the story and then they are guided and encouraged to predict what the captions say and to read them.

At each stage there are key words which we expect the children to learn before moving on to the next stage.  We will give you key words for each book in bags which are taken home to be learned.  However, because of the story method approach, the vocabulary introduced is quite extensive and we will not expect all the words in a book to be learned.

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