At Dovers Green School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop these skills, 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 staged approach.
Phonics sessions are taught daily from the beginning of Foundation Stage to the end of Year 1, following the Read Write Inc phonics scheme. Once children are assessed they are streamed within their year group so that they are working with children of a similar phonic and reading ability.
Phonics is taught in a variety of ways which always includes sounding out, decoding, segmenting and blending strategies. As well as following the Read Write Inc scheme we also give children the chance to apply their learning through fun and active lessons, which incorporate the outdoor area. Interactive resources and games are used and children are given the opportunity to rehearse sounds verbally and record them in written work.
Phonics sessions are structured to build on previous learning and introduce new phonics skills and subject knowledge. Sessions follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model and include opportunities to develop speaking and listening, reading and writing.
Approximately 10 minutes for each Read Write Inc phonics lesson is dedicated to reading. During this time children will read a book that is correctly matched to their phonic ability. In addition to this, children will also take home a Read Write Inc bookbag book, which again is matched to their phonic ability.
Phonics in year 2
If children have completed the Read Write Inc phonics scheme and have passed their phonics screening test they are then ready to move onto the Read Write Inc spelling programme. Any children who are not ready will continue to access daily phonics lessons.
Children are regularly assessed using the Read Write Inc assessment tools which allow for regular movement between groups and ensure children are being sufficiently challenged.
In June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before.
We use a variety of reading scheme books to broaden the children’s reading experiences. This allows children to access books which match their ability to use phonics to decode words as well as reading books which enable them to develop their comprehension and inference skills. Some of the schemes that we follow include: PM books, Songbirds, Oxford Reading Tree books, Project X and Collins Big Cat.
Whole class shared reading sessions focus on the understanding of vocabulary and comprehension skills. To support this we focus on the RIC skills: Retrieval, Inference and authors Choice of language.
Ongoing Reading Assessment
Children’s progress in reading is regularly monitored and they are assessed against the PM benchmarking scheme to decide if they are ready for the next level. Alongside keeping records of every child’s 1:1 teacher led read we assess children on the reading and writing of Ladybird, Caterpillar and Butterfly high frequency words.