Phonics teaching

High quality, daily phonics teaching at Tidemill Academy begins in Reception and continues throughout KS1. At Tidemill, the Letters and Sound phonics programme is used. Interventions are run to support children who may need additional support throughout the Key Stages. Children are taught in small groups to ensure they receive the teaching that is best suited to their abilities. Phonics workshops are delivered for parents to enable them to support their children at home. An additional phonemic awareness course for the parents of our neediest pupils is run by the Speech and Language resource base. A huge achievement for the school is the national Year 1 Phonics Screening Test results which were higher than National in 2013 (Tidemill 86%, National 69%) & 2014 (Tidemill 77%, National 74%). In 2015, Tidemill had a 82% pass rate; the National figure will be released shortly.

Reading at Tidemill

At Tidemill, we are dedicated to developing and maintaining a positive and enthused reading culture for our pupils. We celebrate reading through various classroom incentives including ‘Readers of the Week’. We also hold an annual World Book Week celebration where pupils and teachers all come to school dressed as their favourite book characters. The week also involves workshops, visits from published authors and book fairs. The costumes for World Book Day get better and better every year and our annual catwalk is quite the spectacle.
We are also extremely fortunate to have such a fabulous resource as the Deptford Lounge attached to our school. Our pupils visit the library regularly with their classes and are also encouraged to do so before and after school. As a school, we have developed strong links with the Deptford lounge; our pupils have been involved in the Summer Reading Challenge, have met with authors such as Steve Cole and Clare Stanhope and they are regularly told stories by the in-house storyteller.
In EYFS, all pupils are provided with weekly home Reading packs. These packs contain a story book, puppets and an activity card related to the story for parents to share and discuss with their children. EYFS pupils also receive daily story time and all Reception pupils are listened to at least once a week by their teachers.
In KS1 and lower KS2, our pupils are provided with reading books to take home which are matched to their reading abilities and interests. These reading books are changed on a weekly basis and children’s progress with their reading is monitored by teachers regularly in order to ensure that pupils are being given books which match their reading capabilities. The main source of books which are sent home with these pupils are from the Collins Big Cat range, the Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. These books are grouped into colours and provide appropriate levels of challenge for our pupils as they progress through this book banded scheme.
Once children move to upper KS2 or have reached the end of the book banded scheme (whichever comes first), they are expected to independently choose from our classroom libraries to further engage, stimulate and develop their reading.
In KS1 and KS2 daily guided reading takes place in small, focused groups in order to enable teachers to provide pupils with the support and challenge they need to develop their reading capabilities.

At Tidemill, we are extremely lucky to have generous parent volunteers who are willing to give up some of their valuable time to listen to our pupils read. Having extra adults available to listen to our pupils helps to further raise the profile of reading in our school.