We have a rigorous and systematic approach to the teaching of phonics which has high ambitions; ensuring phonics mastery for ever child by the end of key stage 1 at the latest. However, we are also responsive to the needs of our in – year intake of pupils, who may arrive from another school without our exacting standards, or from abroad with little or no experience of English.
Phonics provides the building blocks of reading acquisition. We develop our children’s understanding application of the full range of reading skills beyond phonics. We also foster a love of reading through a variety of approaches and systems.
Children will learn letters and sounds from the Spring term in the nursery.
Phase one phonics are organised under the following aspects:
Aspect 3:General sound discrimination – body percussion
Aspect 4:Rhythm and rhyme
Aspect 6:Voice sounds
Aspect 7:Oral blending and segmenting
In Reception systemic phonics is taught to all children, building on from letters and sounds that the children have learned in the nursery. All children are assessed in Autumn 1 and placed in a phonics group based on their ability. The children begin being taught phase 1 phonics and work their way through the phonics program (see reception phonics program). Children who are unable to orally blend and segment in the Autumn term will follow a separate program, focusing on developing their letters and sounds. The children will stay in this group until they are competent at blending and segmenting orally. All children are assessed each half term and RWI phonics groups are reviewed, with children being moved dependant on their progress.
Children in year 1 continue the systemic phonics program in preparation for the end of year 1 phonics assessment. Children are assessed in the Autumn term and placed into a phonics group based on their ability. The children are assessed each half term and their RWI phonics group is reviewed. Support is put into for children not making sufficient progress these include: additional daily phonics, additional 1 to 1 reading, precision teaching and pre-teaching of vocabulary.
Children who are new to school, and new to English, are assessed when they arrive in school. If their phonetic knowledge is not at the required level to access age appropriate texts, they undertake either the full Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics program, or they begin the RWI phonics program for 30 minutes a day, until they are able to access the full RWI program.
Any child who has significantly fallen behind their peers in reading, and is not accessing age related texts, is assessed and, if necessary, undertakes the full RWI program, until they are ready to return to class.
As these children return to class they are provided with additional support during the whole class reading sessions. During these times they work with a trained teaching assistant in smaller grouped reading sessions using ‘Collins Big Cat’ readers to support their wider reading skills of fluency and comprehension.
The EYFS Curriculum is structured around a number of core books and children in nursery will become familiar with these through group reading, storytelling and role play. In Reception children also read with an adult on a one to one basis.
From year 2-6 whole class reading sessions take place daily, with all children engaging collectively with a range of quality, rich texts, throughout the year.As well as teaching the skills of reading and comprehension , these sessions also focus on understanding, and applying grammatical concepts. They also seek to foster a real enjoyment and love of reading within the children.
In addition, ‘Guided Reading’ sessions take place daily for years 1-6 . Children read in groups at their instructional reading level. All children will bring home a levelled guided reading book to practise at home every day.
Children also have regular access to the school libraries to borrow books of their choice to bring home and read for pleasure. In addition to the school library in key stage 2, we use the Accelerated Reader programme to motivate and encourage children to read.
We expect all children to read at home with an adult every day to help support and consolidate the learning that takes place in school.