If you are interested in applying for a place at Civitas Academy, please visit Reading Borough Council’s Admission website and follow the on screen instructions: Reading Borough Council Admissions site:
Here you will find information on how we teach phonics and reading at Civitas Academy and how you can help support your child at home as they progress as fluent readers. Our aim is for children to become independent, life- long readers, able to read a wide range of texts for a variety of purposes with understanding and for pleasure.
We welcome and encourage support from home with the teaching of phonics and reading. We hope that the following information will help in the partnership between home and school. Please direct any further questions to your child’s class teacher, who will be very happy to help.
For some great starter tips on ‘How to help your child read at home’, use the following link
As early readers, children will be taught to use ‘Synthetic Phonics’. This is a technical name and is nothing to do with being artificial, it refers to synthesising or blending sounds to make a word. Phonics is a method of teaching children how spoken words are composed of sounds called phonemes. The process of reading involves decoding or ‘breaking’ words into separate phonemes. For example c-a-t.
There are, as we know, 26 letters in the English alphabet but there are 44 phonemes in the spoken language. For example ‘sh’ ‘ch and ‘ay’ are, phonemes comprising of two letters of the alphabet. Some phonemes like ‘igh’ and ‘ear’ are made of three letters. Each phoneme is known as a grapheme, when used in a written format. Your child will use and understand these words during their phonics teaching.
It is important that, in order to support children to decode phonemes accurately, that the pronunciation is accurate. For information and support with pronunciation, please follow the follow links
Children begin their learning as soon as they can hear and identify audible sounds. This is the first step in phonics. It will begin when children are in the home or out and about, it will occur prior to school age but there it will be a focus as children begin in Nursery Class. Children need to have the ability to identify sounds and differences in sounds before they can learn the 44 phonemes.
To help your child with Phase 1 of phonics, take them out and about and listen to sounds in the environment around them or follow the link for games to play.
Alongside phonetic development, reading is taught all throughout the day to cover the necessary comprehension skills as well as other strategies used to decode meaning from text. Children’s literacy lessons are based around high quality texts and daily literacy lessons allow children to read, enjoy, understand and discuss texts. Children participate in guided reading sessions with their teacher and with their learning support assistants each week, these small focused sessions allow for the direct teaching of new skills as well as opportunities for teachers to assess and give targets to children. Children will bring home a colour banded reading book, bands progressing to provide more challenge, the colour band will reflect their current ability and teachers will use ongoing assessment as well as guided reading and reading tests/activities to determine when to move children onto the next band.
All pupils at Civitas Academy must wear uniform. Uniforms can be obtained through Stevenson’s Uniform.
From September 2014, with the introduction of the new Primary National Curriculum, the government assessment reforms came into force. These included National Curriculum levels being removed and not replaced. This has allowed schools to design and implement their own assessment frameworks. A group of 20 REAch2 educational experts have worked hard to put an ‘Assessment Without Levels’ (AWL) system in place which enables schools to demonstrate quality assessment focused on children’s learning and developmental needs. The Trust wide system devised uses non-negotiable milestones to assess and track the learning of pupils against the new national curriculum in oracy, reading, writing and maths for each year group. There is much more emphasis in revisiting and deepening children’s understanding of what they have learnt, improving their ability to apply learning in as many different ways as possible. As children are not expected to push through a set of levels, they are free to master the full breadth of the curriculum for their year group.
The AWL system recognises that the new national curriculum is sufficiently challenging for pupils and assesses attainment at any point in time against four judgements. Children’s work in books is a key source of evidence when making judgements relating to a pupil’s progress.
From Year 1 the following judgements are used:
Working Towards – Children are judged as ‘working towards’ when they are accessing the curriculum below the expectations of their chronological age. They do not currently have the skills, knowledge and understanding required to access, achieve or demonstrate significant engagement with the assessment criteria.
Aspiring to Meet – Children are judged as ‘aspiring to meet’ when they are accessing the expectations of their chronological year group, however they are deemed not be on On-Track to meet expectations fully by the end of the year without significant additional support.
On-Track to Meet – Children are judged as ‘On-Track to Meet’ when they are comprehensively On-Track to attain the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria by the end of the year.
Met – Children that demonstrate they have mastered the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria and are able to apply them across a broad range of contexts are judged to have ‘Met’ the milestones.
For children with specific diagnosed SEND, teacher retain the ability to dis-apply criteria which are inappropriate to the child’s abilities and developmental needs.
Copyright Civitas Primary Academy | Website Developed by Wilkinson Associates
REAch2 Academy Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee Registered in England and Wales with company number 08452281. Registered office address: Scientia Academy, Mona Road, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire DE13 0UF.