In St Clare’s it is our intention that every child will become successful, fluent readers and writers by the end of Key Stage One and we believe that this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with regular, daily opportunities for developing reading and writing skills. The teaching of phonics is a key strategy that is used to help our children to read, write and spell. We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge to be able to complete the phonics check at the end of Year 1. We value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills. Our pupils learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics program. They progress onto Read Write Inc. Literacy and Language once they can read with accuracy and speed.
The acquisition of reading skills is of the utmost importance to us here at St Clare’s and therefore the teaching of phonics is given a high priority within school. Pupils are assessed regularly and grouped homogeneously according to their progress in reading. Phonics is taught daily to and the phonic skills are modelled and reinforced throughout the day by all members of the team. All of our staff (Teachers, Teaching Assistants and 1:1 Support Staff) have been trained to become reading experts. We have high expectations and children are encouraged to apply their skills in their independent play and through guided activities. Their achievements are celebrated and these celebrations are shared with parents to involve them in their child’s learning journey. We strive to ensure that all parents are aware of the importance of phonics and how to support their child at home by applying these skills in their reading and writing. Through parent meetings and workshops we aim to provide them with the confidence and the tools to reinforce the child’s learning and have fun together learning to read. Parents can access further phonics support and guidance using the RWI and Oxford Owl websites below:
In order for the children to become competent readers and writers it is integral that we ensure:
(1) Consistency in the approach to teaching phonics throughout EYFS, KS1 and KS2 where appropriate;
(2) Rigorous planning, assessment, and tracking;
(3) Quality first teaching of stimulating, interactive lessons to support motivation;
(4) That all children are able to read by the end of EYFS (ELG) and the age of six. (Year 1 phonic screening test).
(5) Those pupils who are working below their peers are identified and receive 1 to 1 tutoring and targeted intervention to support the gaps in their learning.
Through the teaching of RWI program the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. During these sessions we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonic knowledge. The children take home decodable reading books, which match their current phonics level and they are encouraged to read regularly at home.
In the EYFS the continuous provision matches the pupil’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitable challenged.
At St Clare’s we aim to:
· Teach children to recognise the graphemes within words and associate them with the appropriate phoneme when reading.
· Encourage the use of segmenting and blending so that decoding skills provide a sound foundation for reading, writing and spelling.
· Establish consistent practice, progression and continuity in the teaching and learning of phonics and spelling throughout the school
· Deliver high-quality phonics teaching which secures the crucial skills of word recognition that, once mastered, enables children to read fluently and automatically enabling them concentrate on the meaning of the text.
· Ensure that children are taught strategies to identify and decode ‘tricky words’ within the English language and high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonics patterns
The Reading Leader and members of the reading team regularly assess the pupil’s phonics knowledge using RWI phonic assessments, reading milestones and Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform grouping and planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.
Through the teaching of RWI systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 and children who do not pass will re-screened it in Year 2. If a child enters Key Stage Two and they still have not passed the phonics screening check, they will continue their phonics lessons which will also be supplemented by 1 to 1 tutoring and targeted intervention. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We intend the impact of our Phonics and English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.
Phonics Screening Check
The Phonics Screening Check will take place in June 2023 for all Y1 pupils nationally and Y2 pupils who did not meet the expected standard in June 2022. Please watch the video clips 'The Phonics Screening Check' and 'How to say the sounds' using the weblink below to Ruth Miskin School Portal to support your child with phonics at home.