Curriculum Statement: Phonics

Excellence, Truth and Grace’


Phonics Intent


At Middleton Parish Church School, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that consistent, systematic phonics provides children with the foundations needed to be successful readers and writers, which is why we teach phonics through the Read Write Inc programme. Through daily, systematic and consistent, high quality phonics teaching, children learn both the simple and complex alphabetic code, to blend sounds to read words (Fred talk, read the word) and to segment sounds in words to write them (Fred fingers). Children are confident to decode unfamiliar words using the skills they have acquired in phonics, across the whole curriculum. They learn to read fluently and accurately, so that they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension as they move through school.


Teaching children to read and write independently is one of our core purposes, enabling children to access a broad and exciting curriculum and ensuring they flourish as learners throughout their time at Parish. These fundamental skills not only allow children to access the rest of the curriculum, but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. Reading opens up a whole world of experiences and being able to read will empower our children to live with excellence, truth and grace throughout their lives.


Phonics Implementation


Our phonics teaching begins in Nursery where children access Phase 1 Phonics. This consists of a variety of daily opportunities (adult led sessions and continuous provision enhancements) for children to develop their phonological awareness and speaking and listening skills, giving them the foundation needed before they start the Read Write Inc programme, which begins in the Reception year. In Nursery, children are exposed to the Read Write Inc Set 1 sounds alongside the patter for each letter, as our ‘Sound of the week.’ The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout EYFS and KS1, and for some children in KS2. Phonics is taught daily for up to forty-five minutes, in smaller progress groups, following the Read Write Inc programme. Sessions consist of daily Speed Sounds Lessons, Word Time and Storybook/hold a sentence activity.


Speed Sounds Lessons: Children are taught grapheme phoneme correspondences for all simple and complex speed sounds, alongside letter formation patter and mnemonics for the special friends. Previously taught sounds are regularly reviewed as part of speed sound lessons, recapping previous learning.

Word Time: Consists of reading words containing new sounds taught, as well as previously taught sounds and words. Nonsense words are included as part of Word Time as an assessment of children’s ability to decode. We then spell words with the sounds we have learnt that day using our Fred Fingers, encouraging children to use the letter formation patter, with the correct pencil grip and seating position.


Storybook sessions: Involve books matched closely to each group’s reading ability. These are fully decodable. Each book is read in class three times, before being sent home for children to share their reading fluency skills and story teller voices with their families. Children also have access to Oxford Owl, our online eBook library, where they can access the storybooks they have read in phonics sessions as well as quizzes and many other books.


Our expectation is that children read at home five times a week, and this is shared with parents at our ‘Meet the Teacher’ events at the start of each academic year. Common exception words or Red Words are taught through our storybook sessions also. Hold a sentence activities are linked to the storybook and children use their segmenting skills to write a sentence that contains sounds and words previously taught.


Pinny Time is used during continuous provision in Reception and at regular intervals throughout the day in KS1 to target specific children and to embed speed sounds and words into long term memory. This consists of using flash cards or our PowerPoint presentations.


At Middleton Parish Church School, we believe teaching children to read is our priority. Every teacher and teaching assistant in school has received Read Write Inc training and staff continue to be supported by the reading leader, who monitors and drives the phonics programme through school. Practise and coaching sessions are offered in order to ensure that high quality phonics and fidelity to the Read Write Inc programme are provided for all our children.


Phonics Impact


Children on the phonics programme are assessed half termly by the reading team using the Read Write Inc assessments, and are placed into the relevant progress group based on their reading ability. Half termly assessment helps us to quickly identify children who are not making the required progress and the lowest 20% of children are targeted for daily one to one tutoring, based on their specific need. After each assessment period and regroup has taken place, reading teachers are given a sounds analysis grid, outlining which sounds their specific group needs to revisit. Leaders also inform reading teachers of any specific difficulties within their groups that prevent children from progressing to the next group. SPOTLIGHT children are also identified within groups, these are children who require extra support within sessions but not currently involved in one to one tutoring. These children will also be targeted for Pinny Time outside of the phonics session.


In preparation for the Phonics Screening Check, children in Year 1 and those who are due to retake the test in Year 2, undertake a phonics screening check assessment every six weeks. This helps us to keep track of any children who need additional support in terms of sound knowledge and decoding skills. Through the teaching of a consistent, systematic phonics programme, our aim is for children to become independent readers and writers by the end of Key Stage 1 and meet age related expectations in their decoding and encoding skills. They will meet the required level to pass the Phonics Screening Check at the end of their Year 1 year. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension as they move through school, as well as use their reading skills to access learning in all other areas of the curriculum and to access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment.


Curriculum - Phonics

Updated: 25/04/2024 1.39 MB
Updated: 25/04/2024 176 KB