The use of phonics is one of the many skills needed to be a reader and writer. We aim to teach high quality phonics to ensure that the children have the best possible start in reading and writing.
Our children learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme.
In Read, Write, Inc Phonics, children:
- Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills.
- Read common exception words on sight
- Understand what they read
- Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
- Acquire good handwriting
We group children homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than writing. This is because it is known that children’ progress in writing will lag behind progress in reading, especially for those whose motor skills are less well developed.
All staff are trained to deliver high quality phonics sessions. All staffs follow a planned, systematic programme building on previous learning to secure progress. Children are taught phonics for 20 minutes per day. In addition to the daily phonics session, we operate additional target groups for children who need additional support.
In Reception, we emphasise teaching the alphabetic code. The children rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters that represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly. This is especially useful for children making slower progress. The learning is consolidated daily. Children have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings- except exception words. The expectation is that children progress onto vowel digraphs and complete Set 1 and Set 2 phonics by the end of Reception.
We make sure that all children are given opportunities to apply their increasing phonics knowledge in reading and writing activities in the classroom. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Alongside this, teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction texts; they are soon able to read these texts themselves.
Embedding the alphabetic code means that children quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. We encourage them to compose sentences aloud until they are confident to write independently. The expectation is that children leave Reception reading and writing simple sentences.
Key Stage 1
Children in Year 1 will continue learning phonics using the Read, Write Inc programme with the aim that Set 3 sounds are completed by the Summer Term. Most of our Year 1 children complete the programme and continue on to ‘Letters and Sounds’ Phase 6 phonics during the Summer Term. Most children will move on to the Babcock Spelling Programme in the Autumn Term of Year 2.
At Elworth CE Primary School, no pupil is held back or pressurised to move on before they are ready or confident to do so. The children in Key Stage 1 are taught at the correct level. We will continuously practise and revisit all sounds to ensure consolidation. Children in Key Stage One are encouraged and given opportunities to apply their phonic knowledge in both reading and writing activities across all subjects.
We also recognise that the teaching of phonics does not work for some children and incorporate different reading and spelling strategies in our teaching.
Assessments are on-going and are updated half-termly on a phonics tracking sheet. Children are assessed using the Read, Write, Inc sound and word entry assessments and Year 1 phonics screening check. This gives us a very good indication of how well they are making progress relative to their starting points. Teachers ensure that the children in their classes are applying their phonics at the correct level in independent reading and writing activities by rating their phonics tracking sheet.