Merryfields School

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Merryfield's Communication and Literacy policy highlights that the aims of reading are to develop a pupil's ability to:

  • Get pleasure from a wide range of stories, rhymes and poems presented in a variety of ways that provide access fro all.
  • Recognise the meaning of objects, photographs, symbols and words.
  • Gain a reading vocabulary that enables them to read at their own level.
  • Value their efforts and believe in their own capabilities

Through our curriculum pupils will be exposed to a wide range of reading materials:-

  • fact, fiction
  • poetry, myths, legends
  • notices, plans, maps
  • picture books
  • sensory books
  • personal books
  • comics, newspapers
  • big books

Pupils will have a variety of reading opportunities:-

  • "Reading" objects e.g. objects of reference, timetables, personal signifiers, location markers
  • Reading personal photographic/symbolic timetables and "choose boards", environmental cues and visual supports which may show where to go, what to do when there, when they know when they have finished, what to do when finished and what will come next
  • treasure boxes, personal photograph albums, class-made books
  • shopping lists and products on shelves
  • social signs in school and out
  • listening to people read out loud
  • shared reading
  • independent reading
  • use of libraries

Reading Strategies

An analytic phonics approach is used with many of our pupils though a few may continue with synthetic phonics if thet have started at a previous school or are considered able to use this approach. As we have a high population of pupils who are visual learners the analytic approach is more suited to them. These pupils work towards acquiring a sight vocabulary of around fifty workds ranging from their own name, social, environ,emtal and media words, vocabulary for needs, interests and feelings, high frwquency words, key words in topics and reading scheme vocabulary. Then, many pupils will start to be taught to use decoding skills including awareness that sentences can be broken down into wordsm words can be broken down into syllables, words can be segmented into individuals sounds and sounds can be blended into words. Not all pupils will be ready to work analutically e.g. pupils with ASD may find this very difficult and it may be preferable for them to continue with whole work recognition alhough we recognise that this is limiting in the long term. Our core reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree and this is supplemented by real readers to meet pupils' needs. ICT is used extensively to provide access for many of our pupils with an ASD. Reading spans the whole curriculum and each topic having key word lists drawn up by each teacher to be taught to pupils.


Pupils will be assessed for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Test and will only take part if appropriate. Parents will be kept informed of this process.