Phonics & Early Reading
The subject leader for Phonics is Mrs Padget.
At The Mount, we believe that every child has the right to engage with a broad range of texts to enable them to become fluent readers who have a love of reading. Our phonics programme, Read Write Inc. enables children to do this and is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We begin to expose children to the Read Write Inc programme in Summer Term in Nursery and this can be carried through up until Year 3, if necessary.
Through this, children are able to read unfamiliar words using the Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds and children are able to apply the skill of blending in a range of contexts. Red words are also taught as part of the programme and are in line with the common exception words that children need to be able to read and spell. We have a strong focus on vocabulary and language development because we know that speaking and listening is a crucial part of children's overall development.
In Early Years, stories are in an integral part of the day and the reading area is at the heart of the classroom to promote the importance of reading and to develop a lifelong love of reading. Stories are read to children every day and they are used as the focus of Literacy sessions throughout school.
How we teach Phonics
From September in Reception, we start to teach a daily phonics lesson using the Read Write Inc programme. Children are assessed by the Read Write Inc leader at the start of the year and are grouped according to the stage they are at in their reading journey throughout Reception and Key Stage 1. Sessions usually last up to 30 minutes in Reception and up to 40 minutes in Key Stage 1. All staff are well trained to use the programme and regular monitoring is carried out by the Read Write Inc. leader.
In Reception, children learn all of the Set 1 sounds and learn to blend to read words using these sounds. We use a range of Fred games and Word Time using magnetic letters and boards to make sure children are confident blenders before they move on to the Red Ditty books. Children are then taught Set 2 sounds and practise reading these within words. These sounds are practised in the Pink books in the programme. Red words are taught in an order that corresponds with the story books and are in line with the common exception words that children need to be able to read and spell. Children are also taught to read 'Nonsense words' to embed knowledge of the sounds being taught and blending.
Year 1 and 2
The children work through the book scheme until they reach Grey level books, where they will have been taught Set 2 and Set 3 sounds and be able to read words with these sounds in. Children will also have been taught all of the red words in the scheme, which are in line with the common exception words children need to to be able to read and spell. 'Nonsense words' continue to be taught in Year 1 in preparation for the Phonics Screening Check at the end of the year.
The reading books in the Read Write Inc. programme practise the sounds that are being taught in their group at the time, as well as teaching new vocabulary and asking questions about the stories to check children's understanding.
Small group and 1:1 phonics sessions
From Reception through to KS2, small group and 1:1 phonics sessions are delivered to children who need additional practise or have not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These are timetabled at least 3 times a week and are delivered by a fully trained adult.
In some cases, children will continue to be taught the Read Write Inc programme with a group every day in Year 3. This is as well as extra reading and phonics practise within the classroom.
In order to group children according to the Read Write Inc programme, baseline assessments are carried out at the beginning of each year. Half termly assessments are then done to track the progress of the children and offer any extra sessions if needed. Daily assessment and regular discussions with the Read Write Inc leader is also used to address any gaps or children needing extra support.
Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check and any children who did not pass this will resit this in Year 2.
Using the Read Write Inc Programme enables children to become fluent readers by engaging in exciting stories and non fiction texts every day at a level that is at their reading ability. This shows children that there is a clear link between phonics and being able to read for enjoyment.
Please see below for resources that can be used to help with reading at home.