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 for 2012. Tidemill Academy had an 82% pass rate and came 8th in Lewisham borough out of 69 schools.

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 lucky 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 encouraged to do so after school. As a school, we are developing strong links with the Deptford lounge; our pupils have been involved in promoting the Summer Reading Challenge, have been told stories by the in-house storyteller and have also met with authors such as Steve Cole and Clare Stanhope. 

In EYFS, all pupils are provided with weekly home 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. 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 provided with chapter books 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 in order 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.