Phonics

‘Academic Excellence and Intellectual Curiosity for all’

Intent 

At HNP, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers as we are aiming to have academic excellence and intellectual curiosity for all. HNPS intends to deliver a challenging curriculum which is accessible to the diverse socioeconomic, cultural and neurodiverse backgrounds at HNPS and that will maximize the development of every child’s ability and achievement in the area of Reading. We believe that Read, Write, Inc (RWI) phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Through RWI phonics children learn a simple alphabetic code followed by a more complex code. All reading books progress cumulatively, matched to the sound’s children are learning in school and already know. 

By the time children leave Reception they will have:

  • Read Green or Purple Storybooks and read all set 1 and first 6 Set 2 sounds (ay, ee, igh, ow, oo, oo)

By the time children leave Year 1 they will have: 

  • Read Blue storybooks and all the set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 sounds. 
  • Passed the Phonics Screening Test

 By the time children leave Year 2 they will : 

  •  Be off RWI programme and read with fluency and intonation.

Implementation

The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS and KS1. 

Throughout the school teachers are implementing the evidence informed practice of I do, We do, You do to  ensure all children are accessing learning. This is a model of teaching which is also known as the ‘gradual release of responsibility’ model. It enables our pupils to learn new knowledge through precise teaching, and gives them a chance to practice, with support, before embarking on independent application. 

In the EYFS, children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis through the continuous provision. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage learners and link to our topics. Children also take part in daily synthetic phonics sessions, which follow the Read Write Inc. scheme. Children are encouraged to transfer the skills they learn in phonics sessions into their independent reading and writing in the continuous provision.

In KS1 phonics is taught daily for 60 minutes. Children are grouped by reading ability and taught by members of the reading team. These groups are monitored (by the team and the phonics lead) and kept fluid, to ensure that children are in the correct groups that best suit their needs. We follow the below sequence when teaching a phonics session. 

Teachers teach RWI using a detailed, proven step-by-step teaching scheme; where children are first taught simple Grapheme (written form of a sound) Phoneme (orally saying a sound) Correspondence, to accurately blend taught sounds, to decode simple words containing taught graphemes and then to read specifically designed books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words.

Children are taught to: 

  • decode letter/sounds correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • read ‘tricky’ (red words) on sight
  • understand what they read
  • read aloud with fluency and expression
  • write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
  • spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  • acquire good handwriting

Staff ensure that children read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the ‘red words’. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to children: they are soon able to read these texts for themselves.  Adults read stories to the children every day where a love of reading is promoted.

For those children who are not making the expected level of progress in phonics and reading will have 1:1 or small group interventions. With RWI one-to-one tutoring for our slowest progress readers in YR to Y4 and RWI Fresh Start for those children in Y5/6 that are below age-related expectations, we ensure that no child gets left behind.

Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 are assessed using the RWI assessments test at the end of each half term at a minimum. The test identifies the children’s progress so far as well as their targets. In addition to this, children in Year 1 are also assessed using a phonics screening check regularly. Regular assessment using the phonics screening test, alongside the RWI assessment test, enables us to stream children for phonics and RWI, ensuring the teaching they receive is tailored to the level they are at. The final Year 1 phonics test takes place in June. The check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learned sufficient phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard. The test consists of 40 words – it is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words) for the child to read 1:1 with their teacher.

Throughout the year we invite parents to phonics workshops and training sessions, which support the parents in listening to their child read and encouraging their child’s development of phonics. Home-school readers are also phonics based and at least one book each week will match the phonics group in which the child is in; ensuring continuity and these are at the level of each individual child. These are changed on a weekly basis. 

We understand that children have missed opportunities of learning because of the COVID outbreak and the resulting distance and blended learning models that were used in the previous school years. Our current teaching model ensures that any missed opportunities are addressed before teaching new concepts and topics. This pre teaching approach ensures that children are able to access the new learning and build upon their knowledge and skills.

Aspects of the Phonics curriculum are embedded in learning within the provision of SEND learning to ensure that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Children with high levels of need have a broad curriculum offer, linking into National Curriculum themes, but with scaffolded learning which meets their needs, ensuring they are also making good progress from their initial starting points.

Impact

The result of phonics teaching at our school will be that children will have a secure knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become confident readers and access all learning across the curriculum, making expected progress or more, with a life-long love of reading. Children will be able to apply the skills learnt to their writing as they are confident in choosing the correct phoneme to grapheme correspondence.

HNPS Phonics overview 

RWI groups, sounds learnt and vocabulary