- Deliver daily phonics through a high-quality phonics programme and consistently implement it to equip children with the skills they need to decode and become fluent readers.
- Provide children with books that are closely matched to their phonic abilities so they can be successful when practising.
- Support children in catching up quickly by making ongoing assessments and targeting intervention.
- Ensure the highest number of children possible pass the phonics screening check, with expectations that are aspirational yet achievable.
- Our aim is that children leave Key Stage 1 as readers.
Implementation - How do we achieve our aims?
We believe that learning to read is key to academic success, and this is supported by research by the EEF (education endowment foundation.) Phonics teaching is recognised as an important component in the development of early reading skills, particularly for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The EEF considers phonics to be one of the most secure, and best evidenced areas of pedagogy. Studies have shown that and effective SSP programme has a positive overall impact (+ 5 months). Our reading curriculum ensures children have opportunities to read for practise, read for meaning and read for pleasure. High quality phonics teaching provides children with skills to learn how to read (reading for practise), which enhances reading for meaning and makes reading more pleasurable. Therefore, phonics is a vital part of our curriculum, forming the building blocks on which our reading curriculum is based on.
A Systematic Approach
To allow our children to develop a strong phonic awareness and effective blending and decoding skills, we have chosen to use a DfE validated synthetic phonics programme called Twinkl Phonics. The programme is a systematic, synthetic approach to teaching phonics, with clear expectations that are laid out term by term from Nursery to Year 6.
Access to Appropriate Books
Integrated into the programme are high-quality reading books. We have phonetically decodable books from Oxford Reading Tree that match to each grapheme the children learn, this ensures that the children apply their phonic knowledge in context through writing and the use of high quality reading texts.
Embedded in the programme are six-weekly assessment tasks, which allow teachers to identify any children that may need extra support. Continuous formative assessment will also inform teacher assessments.
Strong foundations - In Nursery phonics lessons you'll see...
- Children learning in a language rich environment
- Activities which develop children's speaking and listening skills available daily.
- Children have access to high quality adult interactions.
- Children have the opportunity to engage in challenging adult led tasks to consolidate their learning.
- Children have access to a range of high-quality books and mark making resources.
Rigorous practise – In Reception and Year 1 phonic lessons, you will see…
- Phonics is taught daily and has a regular slot on all class timetables.
- Phonics is taught in whole class sessions led by the teacher, who explicitly models strategies and skills. All teachers have access to high quality planning and resources.
- All lessons follow a consistent structure.
- Each class has an engaging phonics area, where lessons are taught.
- The same visual representations and mnemonics are used by all teachers.
- Children work independently with peers or in guided groups.
- Children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge in other curriculum areas.
- Children have access to phonetically decodable books to read at home.
- Teachers ensure that all children make progress through the use of precision teaching and targeted intervention groups
Progression through the programme
- Level 1 - Developing speaking and listening skills
- Level 2 - Simple letter sound correspondences
- Level 3 - Introduction of consonant diagraphs and long vowel sounds
- Level 4 - Consolidation and reading and spelling words with adjacent consonants
- Level 5 - Learn final graphemes and alternative pronunciation and spelling of known graphemes
- Level 6 - Year 2 move to whole class reading
Children are assessed at the end of Year 1 using a Government Statutory Assessment Tool known as the Phonics Screening Check. This Screening Check confirms whether a child has learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard and will identify sounds needing further support in Year 2. Children are assessed 1:1 by the phonics leader, who is a familiar adult to them. Those who do not pass, will continue their phonics lessons in Year 2, alongside Whole Class Reading. This allows for them to consolidate and develop their confidence, within a group aimed at their specific ability, ready to retake the screening at the end of Year 2.
Support to catch up - In Years 2 - 6
Although we expect most children will have successfully completed the phonics programme by the end of Year 1, we recognise that some children may benefit from further instruction, and we will ensure that high quality phonics provision is in place for:
- Children who did not pass the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.
- Children who are new to the country and have no previous experience of English.
- Children with SEND who are struggling with decoding.
These interventions will look different for different children. In Years 2 - 6 you may see:
- 1: 1 precision teaching sessions
- 1: 1 intervention focused on blending and segmenting
- Small group interventions focused on teaching graphemes/blending and segmenting.
Impact- How will we know we achieved our aims?
- Children can decode, segment and blend confidently and by the end of Year one already to move from learning to read to reading to learn.
- Children feel successful in reading and are more willing to read because books are matched to their needs.
- By implementing high quality intervention effectively and promptly, the majority of children become fluent confident readers by the end of key stage one.
- A high number of the children passed the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1.