Phonics Curriculum Statement
What is Phonics?
Phonics is the method of teaching reading through the identification of sounds and graphemes.
All words are made up of individual sounds. These sounds are merged together to form words.
e.g. in ‘mat’ we have the sounds ‘m’, ‘a’, ‘t’, ship – ‘sh’, ‘i’, ‘p’.
A grapheme is another name for the letters we use to write the sound. The spelling of that sound on the page.
The new National Curriculum ensures that all children are taught Phonics systematically.
This gives your children the tools to read any word.
What is Read Write Inc?
At St. George's we use Read, Write, Inc. an inclusive synthetic phonic programme to teach our children to read, to write and to spell. We have adopted this as our whole school approach as the programme facilitates a graduated and tailored approach to learning basic sounds and letter formation before advancing to more complex sounds and reading for comprehension. The programme moves with integrity from learning to read to reading to learn.
This video, taken from the Ruth Miskin website, explains the scheme in more detail:
Teaching Phonics at St. George's.
We start teaching the programme in your child’s Reception year and then continue until they have worked their way through the whole reading scheme. Our aim is for all children to complete the programme by the end of the first half term of Year 2. Those children who have not reached the expected level by the time they leave KS1 will continue to access the RWI programme and receive additional targeted intervention to ensure they catch up with their peers.
RWI is taught through daily phonic lessons where we teach sounds, children practise reading and spelling words containing these sounds, then we give children decodable books containing sounds and words they can read. They read each Storybook four times at school and again with you at home.
We assess all children on the scheme every half term, to ensure that they are placed in the appropriate group for their reading ability. This also allows us to quickly identify any children who need some support to access the learning at the level of the group. If this arises, we provide one-to-one tutoring for the child in accordance with the Read, Write, Inc scheme, to help them make rapid progress and once again be at the level of their group. Groups are taught by either teachers or teaching assistants who have had Read, Write, Inc phonics training; in utilising so many staff, we can ensure that groups are kept as small as possible and that the teaching the children receive is tailored to their needs.
What can you do to help?
1. Use pure sounds, not letter names
We teach using pure sounds. We pronounce the sounds clearly, using pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds together to make words more easily. To hear how to pronounce sounds correctly, watch the following video. https://youtu.be/s6OiU2h3sUI
2. Use Fred Talk to read and spell words (see above)
3. Listen to your child read their Storybook every day.
4. Read aloud a variety of stories to your child every day.
Our school library has a wonderful selection of picture books, speak to our admin team about loaning out books to read at home.
You can access online resources (see below) where there are tips and videos to give you more information to help you to understand more about Phonics, Read Write Inc. and how to practise reading and writing with your child at home.
Online resources available
Ruth Miskin Parents’ Page: https://www.ruthmiskin.com
Ruth Miskin Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miskin.education
Free e-books for home reading: http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/Reading/
In line with current Government requirements we are revising our Phonics curriculum and more information will be posted as soon as possible.
Statutory Phonics Assessments
Towards the end of Year 1 all children will complete the Phonic Screening Assessment. This is a statutory assessment that will be carried out by teaching staff at school. The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify pupils who need extra help to improve their decoding skills. The check consists of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words that pupils read aloud to the check administrator. Children who do not meet the phonic screening assessment threshold in year 1 will have the opportunity to repeat this assessment in Year 2. Outcomes of this test will be reported to you through your child’s end of year report.
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