This is a statement of the principles and strategies for the teaching of synthetic phonics at Kew Woods Primary School. This policy should be read in conjunction with other English related policies, other teaching and learning and assessment policies.
At Kew Woods Primary School, we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. We aim to teach the children to read fluently and accurately and to develop skills that promote understanding and interpretation of texts to support the curriculum. We use a wide range of material and our home-school reading scheme is graded using the book band system. The main core of the scheme is Oxford Reading Tree but this is well supplemented with other material to ensure a variety of engaging texts are available to all children.
Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. Read, Write, Inc. is our phonics scheme where daily sessions are taught in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes. In Key Stage 2 daily phonics/spelling sessions are timetabled into the curriculum to ensure continuity and progression. Regular homework and weekly spelling are set to reinforce and develop phonics skills taught in school.
The principles of the Read, Write, Inc. Phonics Programme
Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is an inclusive literacy programme for all children learning to read. It is a full teaching programme proven to develop:
- fluent, enthusiastic readers
- confident speakers
- keen writers
Children are taught to:
- learn to read and write letter-sound correspondences quickly
- decode effortlessly
- spell and handwrite easily
- comprehend what they read
- read with fluency and expression
- write confidently using oral rehearsal
- work effectively with a partner to articulate their learning at every step
All adults in Kew Woods Primary School who support learning are trained in the Synthetics Phonics Programme.
INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT
To ensure all pupils’ make appropriate progress in reading and writing we use the Read, Write, Inc. Fresh Start programme as daily structured intervention for pupils aged 9 and above.
Any pupil who is identified as not making expected progress within Key Stage 1, receives additional support and intervention using the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme.
Most intervention takes place before or after the school day to ensure it is additional support outside of curriculum time in order to maximise pupils’ learning.
TRACKING AND ASSESSMENT
During daily sessions of phonics there are opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding of grapheme-phoneme (letter-sound) correspondences. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions there are opportunities to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading. During each half term Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and individually identified Key Stage 2 children are assessed using the Read, Write Inc assessment. Following the analysis of these assessments children are grouped accordingly.
At Kew Woods Primary School, we use the phonic progress tracking sheet which provides an overview of children’s progress through the phonic stages. Regular monitoring of the tracking sheet will allow teachers and practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress, including children in the most vulnerable groups. This is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place.
It is important to remember that boundaries between the stages should not be seen as fixed and it is possible that some children will be introduced to the next stage graphemes whilst reinforcing the stage before.
Year 1 Screening Check
Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check. This is a phonics based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This progress check will identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents as well as on ‘Inspection Dashboard’. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the acknowledgment of the parent/carer.