St.George’s Pre-School recognises that we have an important role in preparing our children to be readers and we acknowledge that a strong phonic foundation from the very earliest stage is what supports this aim. Therefore, we structure our day, and plan our curriculum resources, to ensure that we are engaging our children from the earliest opportunity in pre-literacy activities.
We encourage a love of books and reading by providing a rich range of texts for the children to share with staff and peers and to access individually. These cover a wide range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poems and rhymes. We plan for twice daily story telling sessions where we select from a range of familiar and unfamiliar texts and encourage our children to listen carefully to the stories and talk about the characters and story plot.
We support a growing vocabulary by having a planned vocabulary list broken into tier 1 words – conceptual words and social function words, tier 2 words- descriptors, and tier 3 words- subject specific words which are developed across each topic. We further grow our children’s vocabulary by planning for daily nursery rhymes, poems, songs and planned talk.
We teach early reading skills through daily ‘adult led sessions’ using Phase One activities from the Letters and Sounds teaching programme. Phase One focuses upon developing speaking and listening skills as a priority and our children engage in learning activities that encourage them to talk a lot, to increase their stock of words and to be able to distinguish between sounds. Phase one activities pave the way for our children to make a good start in both reading and writing. For those children who are more confident in linking sounds to letters and who are at the early stages of reading, we challenge their learning through the introduction of Phase Two of the Letters and Sounds programme.
We revisit early reading skills outside of the planned adult led sessions by ensuring that singing, making music and listening to rhymes is part of our daily routine.