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At St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way, based on a stage approach.
Read, Write, Inc - Reception and Year 1
At the end of Summer Term 2018 we invested in a new phonics programme called Read, Write, Inc and some training was accessed to deliver this programme in the Reception class and Year 1 class from September 2018. A programme of training and observation then took place to ensure the delivery of phonics is robust in each year group.
Letters and Sounds and Read, Write, Inc - Nursery
Phase 1 - Aspects will continue to be taught in Nursery until February each year when the children will then be more ready to access the Read, Write, Inc programme. The Aspects programme will see the Nursery children develop a 'listening ear,' they will be able to identify sounds, discover what makes sounds and differentiate between these sounds.
Year 2 - Phonics and Spelling
By the end of Year 1 the Read, Write, Inc programme will generally have been completed and so the majority Year 2 will move onto Read Write Inc Spelling. Any children not at the standard to do this will receive intervention tailored to their requirements.
The principles of the Read, Write, Inc programme
At our school we follow this programme from Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension.
The programme is carefully structured into developmental phases. The sessions are delivered to ensure participation and engagement resulting in high- quality phonic work on a daily basis to help practitioners and teachers ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.
Progression and delivery
The pace at which the programme is delivered is rapid but uses a lot of repetition so the children are constantly re-visiting sounds they have previously learnt. Children are grouped according to the stage they are currently working at.
Tracking and Assessment
All pupils are assessed every 6 weeks as they progress. During daily sessions of phonics there are also opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions there are opportunities to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading.
Regular monitoring of the assessment outcomes allows teachers and practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress, including children in the most vulnerable groups. This information is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place.
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-codeable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents as well as on ‘ASP.’ 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.
Through careful monitoring and tracking practitioners are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group tutoring before the lesson or after the main lesson; one to one work with a trained practitioner or extra support for a child or small group of children within a lesson. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to read not only need to catch up with their peers, but also to continue to make progress.
Phonics in KS2
If children in Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching additional resources can be used to support them.
Special Educational Needs
Our aim at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary school is that every child’s needs are catered for and every child is given the chance to succeed and become competent readers. If children are not attaining as expected, due to other difficulties, then it is our duty to put extra intervention in place, to help close the gap and ensure progress is being made.
Homework is used to support phonics taught in class, through tasks such as: