We faithfully follow the Read Write Inc scheme for phonics, which is supported by a RWI Consultant. The foundations for this are laid from Preschool and continues until children are secure in phonics.
In Preschool, pupils focus on developing the listening and attention skills needed as the foundations for phonics through, for example, Fred Talk games, alliteration, rhythm, rhyme and environmental sounds. Pupils will be introduced to the mnemonics that go alongside the phonics sounds as a pre-cursor to more formal sound teaching in the summer term of Preschool.
Formal teaching of phonics begins in Reception starting with basic sounds and phonics routines, ready for assessment grouping at week 4. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils are grouped via Read Write Inc Assessments to ensure they are receiving phonics teaching at the appropriate level.
Pupils receive phonics teaching until they have successfully completed the scheme and know all their sounds. This is the pre-cursor to developing reading fluency and comprehension.
Time for teaching phonics is ring-fenced. In Reception in the Autumn Term, pupils start with 20 minute lessons which increases to an hour as children’s stamina improves. In KS1, pupils receive 45 minute lessons daily. If a pupil in Key Stage 2 is identified as needing phonics, or did not complete the programme, they will continue with phonics until they complete the programme. In Year 5 and 6, we follow Fresh Start if it is appropriate for the need of the pupil.
To ensure no pupil goes home not knowing their sound, pupils are picked up throughout the day for same-day intervention or Fast Track Tutoring. We also carry out additional fluency sessions in the afternoon for all pupils to reinforce phonics learning and build fluency.
For those pupils, unless they are newly arrived from abroad, who do not meet the standard of the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 2 are referred to the school’s SENDCO for further assessment to identify if additional support is required.
Our Phonics Lead is given dedicated time out of class to monitor and evaluate the impact of phonics teaching in every group, providing timely coaching and mentoring for staff where a need is identified. We adopt a fluid approach to the grouping of pupils with on-the-spot assessment taking place as soon as it identified that a pupil is ready to move groups.
All adults have been trained to effectively deliver Read Write Inc sessions and careful consideration is made of which adult is allocated to which group to ensure that the lowest attaining pupils are receiving the highest quality phonics teaching available in the school.
Pupils' home books are matched to the phonics sound being taught in their lessons so that their continued development can be reinforced at home.