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At Bracken Leas Primary School phonics is used as the main approach for the teaching of early reading. 

We have a structured synthetics phonics programme in place based on ‘Big Cat Phonics’ and the ‘Letters and Sounds’ framework.  All children up to Year 2 take part in at least five phonics sessions per week.  Children in Key Stage 2 who may still need this approach will also use ‘Support for Spelling’ framework which develops the skills covered in the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document.  Children are usually grouped according to ability for their phonics sessions. Whilst children are taught to use phonics as their first approach to reading they are also taught to read on sight high frequency words which don’t follow the phonics rules, they may call these ‘fast words’ or ‘tricky words’.

We place a high value on individual reading at Bracken Leas.  Children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 read with an adult at least once a week.  Alongside this children take part in group reading sessions where they are encouraged to use and apply their reading skills and take part in discussions about the books they are reading.  All of our early reading books are banded using our own school criteria and with support children are encouraged to choose their own reading books from the appropriate band.  These books include books from different genres and from a range of different series including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Heinemann, Colour Young Puffin and Blue Bananas.

Children are also encouraged to read for pleasure.  Each classroom has a range of books that children are able to choose from and they also have the opportunity to use the school library regularly to select books to take home and share with their families. Our teachers also regularly read out loud to their class to give children the opportunity to hear and enjoy longer and more challenging texts.