At Bemerton St John, we value reading and writing as key life skills, and are dedicated to enabling our children to become confident oral and written communicators and lifelong readers. We aim to give them the best opportunities to be able to read and spell words correctly right from the start and to develop each child’s confidence, resilience and engagement in phonics lessons. In so doing, we believe that our children will see reading and writing as an enjoyable experience that will remain with them as they journey through our school and beyond.
Children at Bemerton St John participate in high quality Phonics teaching, delivered through the Letters and Sounds Programme. This aims to build speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read and spell by developing phonic knowledge and skills.
A Phonics Progression Map details when Phases are taught.
Phonics is taught in six phases, beginning in Reception, carried through KS1 and, where appropriate and necessary, in to KS2. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and understanding. The direct teacher-led lessons enable all learners to develop and apply new skills while also providing opportunities to further apply these skills within fun and engaging activities and through continuous provision.
Daily phonics lessons prepare children for the statutory year 1 Phonics Screening Check that takes place in the Summer Term of Year 1. During lessons, the teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify those who may need additional support.
During Year 2, the pupils make progress in their skills and understanding through the teaching of Phase 6 phonics. This is taught explicitly using the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme, which covers all aspects of Phase 6 phonics, including common exception words, and it feeds well into the teaching of spelling in KS2. For any Year 2 pupils who did not pass the Screening Check, specific interventions are put in place; the pupils are assessed to determine which phonics phase the intervention needs to start at (using appendix ii) and the children may be taught in separate groups if necessary. The frequency of these interventions will depend on the pupils’ needs.
Through high quality teaching, we aim for as many children as possible to pass the Phonics Screening Check by the end of Year 1. If for any reason children don’t pass, specific interventions are put in place and they will have another opportunity to take the check in Year 2.
In order for timely interventions and support to be given we use an on-going assessment and tracking tool that enables teachers to identify gaps. See Appendix ii
For those children who do not have gaps this document is used as an end of term assessment document. For those children who require support this document is then used as a working document to address needs and form a short term support plan. The successful phonics strategies that we use also prepare children in Year 2 and Year 6, when they come to take the National Reading Assessment.
We believe that through motivation and encouragement, children are able to use all the knowledge that they have been taught in an independent and effective way in order for them to find enjoyment in reading and writing and prepare them for their ongoing learning journey.
Thorough robust teaching of phonics the children will have a secure knowledge of the phonic system. They will be independent, fluent readers who can write with automaticity. This will provide them with skills for life-long learning.