At St. Charles’ Catholic Primary School, we believe that reading and writing are essential skills which will enable children to fully access the opportunities life will offer. We are passionate about ensuring all children foster a love of reading, and become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. Through the phonics curriculum and Read, Write, Inc. scheme, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language, and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners.
Our intention is that all children will become successful, fluent readers who love literature and read for pleasure. The teaching of phonics is necessary for children to learn to read and write. We endeavour for children to be equipped the skills to be able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read. Through phonics, children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. Reading and writing across the curriculum plays a key part in our curriculum intent and children will be encouraged and expected to apply their phonic knowledge in all curriculum areas. The teaching of phonics is of high priority.
In order to achieve our intent, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read, Write, Inc’. Read, Write, Inc. is a method of learning the different phonemes (sounds) and matching graphemes (letters) that we use in the English language and blending them together to read and write words. As part of this, children in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (where appropriate) have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening and writing activities that are matched to their developmental phonic level.
Through Read Write Inc. phonics, pupils will learn to:
• Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic
knowledge and skills
• Read common exception 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 and practise good handwriting.
The Reading Lead (Miss Edwards) regularly assesses all children accessing the phonics programme across school to track progress. This information is used to regroup pupils each half term and ensure all children make rapid progress. This information will also help staff to identify children who may need additional support.
We plan for pupils to read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence and belief that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with their teachers supports their increasingly fluent decoding.
In Year 1, children will participate in the statutory phonics screening to ensure sufficient progress is being made by each learner. It will also identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.
In Nursery, children access phase 1 phonics following a rotation of aspects of teaching including:
Aspect 1 – Environmental Sounds
Aspect 2 – Instrumental Sounds
Aspect 3 – Body Percussion
Aspect 4 – Rhythm and Rhyme
Aspect 5 – Alliteration
Aspect 6 – Voice sounds
When children are secure in aspects 1-6, they will begin Aspect 7 – oral blending and segmenting. This provides children with secure foundations on phonic awareness and ensures they are able to discriminate and produce the sounds required to access the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme at phase 2.
Alongside this, teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves.
Expectations are high for all, including those who have SEND and those who are disadvantaged. Achievements are celebrated and these celebrations are shared with parents to involve them in their child’s learning journey. We believe that a good home school partnership is vital to mastering these early reading skills so reading books are sent home with each child that match their phonic level. In Early Years, we send home weekly love of reading books that we encourage parents to read to their child at home. We also strive to ensure that all parents are aware of the importance of phonics and know how to support their child at home with their reading and writing skills so we send informative videos home via class dojo through our subscription to the Read, Write, Inc. portal.
Through the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics our aim is for children to:
- Become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One allowing children to focus on developing their fluency and comprehension in reading as they move through the school in Key Stage Two.
- Learn correct letter formation when printing in EYFS, which will enable children to develop fluent, joined handwriting by the end of Key Stage One.
- Be able to access the wider curriculum with more ease due to their secure ability to read and write.
Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible as this will enable children to choose books to read of their own interest and at the appropriate comprehension level earlier, which supports children to foster their love of reading. Once children complete the Read Write Inc. phonics programme they are taught in their year group using Read to Write and Steps to Read. More information can be found on our English page.
Phonics Support for Parents
What can you do to help at home?
- Use pure sounds, not letter names
- Teach the picture names
- Practise reading sounds speedily – ‘review, review, review’
- Use the handwriting phrases for writing only
Here is a useful video explaining how to pronounce sounds correctly
Ruth Miskin Parents’ Page:
Ruth Miskin Facebook:
Free e-books for home reading-
(Your child will have their own login-please speak to your child’s class teacher if you have any problems logging on)
Phonics Screening Check