At St Mary’s we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. Our aim is that by the end of Reception children will be able to read words and simple sentences, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they continue to move through the school. The systematic teaching of synthetic phonics, following Phonics Bug is given high priority in Reception and Key Stage 1. Through phonics children learn not only the sounds, tricky words and high-frequency but to segment and blend words. Children need to learn these key sills to complete the phonics check at the end of Year 1. We value and encourage the children reading for pleasure and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills – enjoying success and gaining confidence from a positive experience.
By the end of Reception all children will have a secure understanding of Phase 2 and 3 sounds and tricky words. They will be able to segment and blend words both orally and written using sounds from these phases. Children will also start to learn phase 4 tricky words in the Summer Term of Reception and consolidate their knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.
By the end of Year 1 children should have completed the Phase 5 sounds, and they should be able to read and write all the common exception words for year 1. For the phonics screening check we expect to at least be in line with the National Expectations for the Phonics Screening Check.
Ensure that children’s reading books show progression in phonics knowledge that match the phoneme-grapheme correspondences they know to support decoding skills.
Encourage independent learners who are resilient and have a stamina for reading.
By the end of Year 2 children will be reading for pleasure and not learning to read. Children will acquire word-specific knowledge, choosing the correct phoneme from several possibilities.
Through the teaching of phonics using the Phonics Bug programme the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and KS1. Phonics Bug is a systematic synthetic programme which means that the phonemes (sounds) associated with particular graphemes (written letter/s) are pronounced in isolation and blended together (synthesised). For example, we teach the children to take part a word, such as cat, into its single sounds c-a-t and then blend them together to make cat.
Each lesson follows this structure
- Review/revisit – Previous sound/s learnt also tricky words. Oral segmenting and blending.
- Teach – New phoneme/grapheme. New tricky word/s.
- Practise – Writing new sound. Segmenting and blending with the new sound, spelling words using the new sound.
- Apply – Reading words/captions/sentences. Activities to secure new knowledge learnt.
Staff systematically teach learns the relationship between sounds and the written graphemes or spelling patterns which represent them. Phonics is taught consistently across the school. Lessons are taught at a fast pace to ensure that children are engaged for the sessions. Teachers use the same resources, flashcards and teaching strategies such as chopping boards.
Phonics is applied and reinforced when appropriate throughout the day. Reading and writing is evident in areas of provision in Reception.
Children’s decodable reading books are carefully matched to their phonic knowledge. We use Phonics Bug reading books which are organised by phonic phases and are fully decodable. Children take home a library book every week which are non-decodable and also help to develop their love of reading.
We hold phonics information workshops to help parents support their child.
Reception and KS1 have Phonics working walls which are used to encourage the children to become more independent when reading and writing.
Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. This includes extra 1:1 reading for those who are most vulnerable to enable them to catch up to meet age related expectations.
All teachers are confident using the Phonics Bug assessments and scores from the Phonics screening check are added to Insight – the schools' data tracker. The Phonics Bug assessments are used regularly to assess children’s knowledge, so teacher can put into place interventions if needed.
Extra support is given to those in Year 2 and 3 (where appropriate) who have not passed the Phonics check in Year 1 and interventions are planned for those children.
As a result of high quality phonics provision, children make good progress from their starting points. The vast majority are ready for the next stage in their education as they transfer through Reception, Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2.
Children enjoy listening to adults read and develop a love of reading, gaining satisfaction from their growing success in developing independence and fluency.
Reading outcomes are inline if not better than the National Expectations.
Phonics screening check results are inline if not better than the National Expectations.
However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our phonics and reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments and can be seen in success across the curriculum as children progress through school.
Phonics - Key Stage 1 scheme used is Letters and Sounds and the reading scheme used is Phonics Bug.