At Pomphlett, we endeavour to teach children to read effectively using the Letters and Sounds programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation.
Our structure of Phonics is derived from the ‘Letters and Sounds’ which outlines six phonic phases, each with new phonemes to be learnt, increasing with difficulty as you progress from phase one to six.
Teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes in Early Years and Key Stage 1. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
Phonics is taught Monday - Thursday where we focus on teaching children to:
- read fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
As reading and writing is an essential life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our children to become enthused, engaged and successful readers and writers.
To support this, we implement the following:
- Daily Phonics sessions, where the children learn new phonemes, improve their ability to segment and blend sounds, and their ability to apply this knowledge into their reading and writing.
- Whole Class Reading using Pie Corbett text so they can demonstrate their understanding and thinking, which in turn, inspires the children’s creativity when writing.
- All classes are equipped with a wide range of reading books to meet the needs of all children in the classroom which also engage and challenge keen readers.
- Children from Foundation to Year 6 are issued a reading book that is appropriate for their reading ability
- Children in every year group are read to by their teacher as well as individual readers and guided reading sessions.
In addition to this, it is in our Reading policy that all children are required to read their book at least three times a week to support fluency and understanding.
Throughout Early Years and Key Stage One, children are taught in small and focused groups to target their specific needs for Phonics, alongside children of the same ability.
Teachers and Teaching Assistants termly assess the children in their class so that all planning meets the needs of the children in that group, therefore ensuring all children are confident before moving onto a new phonics phase.
We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so they experience early reading success and gain confidence that they are readers, as well as consolidating the learning that takes place in school.
Throughout the teaching of Phonics, we are able to measure attainment using the Key Stage One and Key Stage Two national assessments, along with the information provided by the Phonics Screening check in Year One.
Reading is embedded in all areas of the curriculum at Pomphlett and that is why we want children to leave school as competent readers who develop a love of books. They will be able to participate in discussions, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
In the summer term of Year 1, the children complete a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment introduced by the Government for the first time in 2012 to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.
The screening comprises a list of 40 real and nonsense-words (pseudo words), which your child read one-to-one with a teacher. Pseudo words allow the assessment to focus purely on decoding phonic knowledge. As pseudo-words are new to all children, they do not favour those with a good vocabulary knowledge or large sight word memory. The words in the screening incorporate phonics skills acquired by the children in Year One.
If children fail to meet the required standard at the end of Year 1 they will repeat in the summer term of Year 2. Class based interventions will be in place to support children in acquiring these skills.