School Phonics Statement:
At Delph Side Primary School, we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop as competent readers and writers, 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 stage approach.
The Principles of the Letters and Sounds Programme:
At Delph Side we follow the Letters and Sounds Programme, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics, from Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension.
The programme is in six phases: phase one promotes speaking/listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending/segmenting; phases two to five focus on high quality phonic work to help children develop fluent word reading and spelling skills. The sessions are delivered to ensure participation and engagement resulting in high- quality phonic work on a daily basis to help practitioners and teachers ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.
Letters and Sounds is supplemented by Jolly Phonics, Busy Things, Espresso, other ICT games and resources made by the teachers. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
Progression and Delivery:
The pace at which it is suggested the children progress through the programme should be taken as a guide rather than applied rigidly. Teachers use LCP Phonics Planning as a basis for their planning and add enhancements, where appropriate.
It is recommended that children in phase two to five of Letters and Sounds should be taught a discrete 20 minute daily session of phonics and that teachers should follow the teaching sequence of ‘revisit, review, teach, practise and apply’. In addition, phonic skills can be applied in reading and writing opportunities as well as in other areas of the curriculum.
Using reliable assessments of children’s developing knowledge and skills, practitioners and teachers will need to judge the rate at which their children are able to progress through the programme and adapt the pace accordingly. Children are grouped according to the stage they are currently working at.
Tracking and Assessment:
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. During daily sessions of phonics there are opportunities for practitioners to regularly assess children’s understanding. Outside the discrete daily phonics sessions, there are opportunities to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading, shared writing/guided writing. Children are formally assessed at the end of each term.
Regular monitoring of the assessment outcomes allows teachers and practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress, including children in the most vulnerable groups. This information is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place.
Year 1 Screening Check:
Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check. This is phonics based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents and school governors. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the permission of their parent/carer.
Through careful monitoring and tracking, practitioners are able to identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group work. It is important that children who are struggling to learn to read not only need to catch up with their peers, but also to continue to make progress.
Phonics in KS2:
If children in Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of systematic phonics teaching, then provision is made for these children, with daily phonics taught in a small group. We have recently introduced Fast Phonics First as an intervention for groups of children, which is a fast track phonics intervention to help children become secure at Phase 5.
Special Educational Needs:
Our aim at Delph Side Community Primary School is that every child’s needs are catered for and every child is given the chance to succeed and become competent readers. If children are not attaining as expected, due to other difficulties, then it is our duty to put extra intervention in place, to help close the gap and ensure progress is being made. This is monitored by Liz Burton our SENCO.
Homework is used to support phonics taught in class, through tasks such as:
- Letter flashcards and formation sheets to practice sounds learnt in school
- Key words sent home to practice decodable and tricky words
- Practising phonic skills in spelling words
- Reading and activities link to reading
- Writing Tasks
At Delph Side, we subscribe to Busy Things, an online resource, which includes a section on Letters and Sounds. Parents are provided with log in details so children are able to access activities at home, to reinforce and develop their phonics skills. Activities can be tailored to the phonics phases that children are working at, covering Phases 1 – 5.
The Oxford Reading Tree is our core reading scheme across the school. Within Early Years and KS1 we use fully decodable (phonics) books, for example: Floppy's Phonics, Floppy's Non Fiction and Alien Adventures. The children progress to using 'Decode and Develop' books which are approximately 75% decodable. We also support early readers in our nursery with picture books.
Within KS1, we also engage the children in group reading sessions called guided reading. Children sit with other children who are of a similar ability. We use the Rigby Rocket and Literacy World schemes to support guided reading.
Within KS2, we continue to focus on individual readers using the Oxford Reading Tree progressively. We also complete guided reading sessions using the Rigby Navigator scheme.