At Gibside we develop children’s reading through various approaches and activities. We employ phonic and sight recognition strategies incorporating visual, pictorial & sensory support to meet the needs of individuals.


Our aims are to:


Children’s targets and objectives are set from our own Scheme of Work which is underpinned by the National Curriculum, but have been further broken down to reflect the smaller steps of learning with our population. These objectives are then embedded within whole class teaching, small group activities and 1:1 reading. Additionally, our Speech and Language therapists provide additional assistance and guidance to teachers and support some children in 1:1 sessions.


Phonics teaching is structured around the Phonic Bug Reading programme. We use specific resources matched to phases 1-6 to teach phonics at the appropriate stage for each child; these range from online resources to practical and sensory activities led in the classroom. Our highly creative staff have made sets of resources which are shared and used across school.


For those children, particularly with an ASC diagnosis, where sight recognition appears to be their approach to reading we use word fading, colourful semantics and reading recovery to support their Early Reading development.


Our sight readers use a range of reading schemes including See and Learn (an approach designed for children with Down Syndrome), Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cats and Project X and a range of pre-reading visual resources to support the development of our children’s reading skills. For those with Visual Impairments we have sensory/tactile books and books from the VI team with larger font and less visual clutter. We also have books created in school which reflect children’s individual interest


Fine motor development is taught across school via personalised targets for children. These can be identified by teaching staff or multidisciplinary staff such as OTs or Physios.


Fine motor sessions include grip development, mark making and progress to letter formation and handwriting sessions in our most able pupils. We develop writing skills across a range of mediums in mark making to reflect the developmental stages and introduce letter formation using Read Write Inc guidance and materials, to support children with stories to help them remember to correctly form letters. We use Twinkl handwriting for those learning cursive handwriting.