Phonics Subject Leader: Mrs Phipps
Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme:
As a junior school, the majority of our pupils begin their school life at Birchwood with a good understanding of phonetic sound reading and have passed the phonics screening check. However, this is not the case for all pupils. In Year 3, the English Lead conducts an NTS assessment for early identification of pupils working below KS2. These pupils are then screened by the Phonics Lead to clearly identify specific barriers to reading. Pupils are then grouped by their word reading and fluency level, and not by their progress in comprehension and writing, into broad speed sound groups. Assessments take place on a termly basis, using the Read Write Inc. (RWI) assessment trackers, and groupings are fluid to promote rapid progression through the speed sound sets.
Successful approaches to the teaching of phonics should encourage pupils to use a variety of strategies to read quickly and effectively, through the Read Write Inc. programme, which teaches synthetic phonics to develop grapheme-phoneme correspondence, decoding, word reading and word meaning, and eventually, fluency. It is important to lay these firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of phonics.
Pupils are also facilitated with a variety of opportunities to write, ranging from simple words and sentences, proofreading, and editing, as well as rehearsing out loud, what they want to write, before composing their own sentences. As pupils progress through the phonics programme, they are explicitly taught grammar and vocabulary sessions, with opportunities to apply taught skills, until they are confident enough to write independently, at the level of their spelling knowledge (that is, they use their phonetic knowledge of the alphabetic code and red words they have learnt).
The SENDCO will be informed of any pupils identified with severe additional needs, or those who are not making expected progress. The Local Authority Specialist Teaching Team can be commissioned to complete assessments and provide next steps towards Wave 3 provision.
Read Write Inc. Support for Parents