The study of phonics is at the centre of reading and writing at Warwick Road School. Phonics underpins, and is intrinsically linked to, early reading and writing in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. As children progress in their phonic knowledge, they will move on from making letters and sounds to using and applying their knowledge across the curriculum.
We recognise that our children come from diverse language heritages and, upon joining our school, will be at different points in their journey towards mastery of reading and writing. In order to participate fully in British society, it is essential for our children to achieve fluency in reading and writing. This applies equally to the spoken and the written word. We believe that all children are capable of making good progress towards that objective and are committed to ensuring that they do so.
At Warwick Road Primary School, phonics is taught through the systematic programme ‘Letters and Sounds.’ Letters and Sounds aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonics knowledge and skills. There are six overlapping phases taught from Nursery through to Year 2.
In the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) children will:
- Be taught using the jolly phonics actions until they begin blending (phase 2).
- Be taught in ability groups based on initial assessment and benchmarking.
- Be assessed on entry and grouped according to ability.
- Use communication, language, literacy and phonics during free flow sessions.
- Become immersed in an environment rich in print and possibilities for communication
- Read 1:1 during the first term, or until they are reading at pink level. Once children begin reading at pink level, they will participate in small group guided reading sessions.
- Plan an environment that reflects the importance of phonics, reading and writing through a range of activity, signs, notices and books.
- Learn all 42 phonic sounds at a rapid pace.
At Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) children will:
- Be taught in their class groups to ensure that all children have access to the same learning. Pupils are taught in small groups to ensure that children are receiving teaching that is right for their stage of development.
- Receive additional support and intervention when required.
- Be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through a range of literature.
- Speak confidently and listen to what others have to say.
- Begin to read and write independently and with enthusiasm.
- Use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
- Sound out most unfamiliar words accurately in age appropriate books, without undue hesitation.
- Be taught focussed phonic sessions 5 times a week. Year 1 will focus on phase 5, moving onto phase 6 in year 2. Year 2 will focus on phase 6.
- Take part in weekly guided reading sessions that total to 1 hour 20 minutes. Children will read with an adult twice a week. A focus group is taught by the teacher where the children will recap phonics skills and be taught new skills in order to progress with their reading.
- Children that do not pass the Year 1 phonics screening test will have the opportunity to repeat the test in Year 2.
At Key Stage Two (Years 3-6) children will:
- Receive additional phonics support if they have not yet passed the Year 1 phonics screening test. Half termly phonics assessments are completed by the phonics co-ordinator and this knowledge is used to plan and structure additional phonics teaching.
- Receive further phase 6 input through the teaching of spelling and grammar.
Throughout the course of the year, we will be hosting KS1 Phonics Workshops for parents of Year 1 and Year 2 children. A big thank you to all the parents who have attended the KS1 Phonics Workshops to date. We hope that you found the afternoon beneficial. Please find a copy of the presentation and hand-outs below:
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to come and speak to a member of the KS1 team.