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Compass Primary School


We faithfully follow the Read Write Inc scheme for phonics.  The foundations for this are laid from Nursery and continues until children are secure in phonics.

In Nursery children 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.  Children 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 Nursery.

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 children are grouped via Read Write Inc assessments to ensure they are receiving phonics teaching at the appropriate level. 

Children 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 ringfenced.  In Reception in the Autumn Term, children start with 20 minute lessons which increases to an hour as children’s stamina improves.  In KS1, children receive 45 minute lessons daily: This is continued in Year 3 and 4 at least four times a week with Year 5 and 6 finding time to do daily 5 minute speed sounds.

To ensure no child goes home not knowing their sound, children are picked up throughout the day using stickers and flashcards. We also carry out 5 minute whole class recap sessions in the afternoon for all children to reinforce phonics learning within KS1 to reinforce the learning. 

For those children who were assessed via in the moment assessment in the lesson as not grasping the sound of the session, catch up interventions will take place the same day.  Early intervention takes place for those children at risk of reading failure using the Read Write Inc One to One Tutoring programme.

If children in Year 3 have not completed the scheme, they will complete the entirety of the scheme through phonics interventions led by adults who have been trained on the scheme.  Those children, 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.

As part of post Covid recovery, we recognise that a significant number of children in Year 3 and 4 will not have completed the phonics scheme.  All children were assessed on the return to school and placed in phonics groups for additional catch-up intervention.

The 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 children with on-the-spot assessment taking place as soon as it identified that a child is ready to move groups.  The phonics lead is supported by a Read Write Inc consultant.

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 % children are receiving the highest quality phonics teaching available in the school. 

Children’s home books are matched to the phonics sound being taught in their lessons so that their continued development can be reinforced at home.

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