How we teach reading

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The teaching of Literacy promotes learning across the curriculum and encompasses all aspects of communication -non-verbal, verbal and written. It underpins pupils’ achievements and participation in all aspects of their lives.

Reading is the process of interpreting symbols in order to construct meaning. At the centre of this process is decoding (reading the text accurately). This is possible through knowledge of sight words (recognised automatically), and sounding out using phonics (letter sounds and phonological awareness).

Beacon Hill School aims to deliver this through a variety of approaches which includes:

• Through planning and teaching strategies, including the use of ICT, PECS, symbols, visual and physical structure, provision is made to ensure that children with ASC are given equal learning opportunities in this area.

• For pupils with ASC, reading is a fundamental skill, to enable pupils to use PECs effectively to communicate their needs, preferences and comment. Group reading sessions (shared reading) will also help to develop pupil’s skills in the area of social interaction. Being able to read also helps pupils to understand changes in their routines (through the use of symbols) and environment more clearly, in a visual way, therefore assisting in pupils’ flexibility of thought.

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• The Primary Framework provides a detailed basis for implementing the statutory requirements of the Programmes of Study for Reading and Writing.

• Experiences in the Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS) in ‘Communication and Language (CL) and Literacy will link to Key Stage 1 teaching of reading.

At Beacon Hill School we use Phonics to develop the students understanding of Letters and Sounds. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well.

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The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know.

• Teachers regularly read to the children, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. Teachers provide age appropriate materials whatever the pupil’s actual reading ability. Termly topics are used as a vehicle to encourage and extend pupil’s vocabulary. Students in Post 16 provision will have Literacy sessions, in addition to carrying out ASDAN accreditation units

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