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Phonics

Aims/Ethos

At Crossley Hall we believe that every child will learn to read.  The importance of reading for enjoyment cannot be emphasised enough and this journey starts right at the beginning of listening to and handling books, creating curiosity and engagement with the world of books.  We have a highly dedicated team of staff who understand that phonics is the key to unlocking reading.   Parental involvement is also a key element of children’s literary journey.  Running alongside their phonics knowledge is their ability to understand the text, which is constantly taught by using strategic questioning and building their vocabulary.  Crossley Hall understands that phonics does not just apply to reading but writing too, giving them the tools and strategies to become independent learners in many areas.

Expectations

Phonics is paramount and can change children’s lives.  Therefore, daily phonics is taught for between 20 and 30 minutes depending on group in a manner that is passionate.  Children will be able to see the excitement and importance of phonics through their adult.

Planning and assessment

At Crossley Hall we recognise the importance of providing a tailored phonics program for our children.  Therefore we have taken elements of best practice from a variety of sources.  This means that the needs of our children are met and teaching is consistent and systematic throughout year groups.  There is a strong emphasis on modelling, decoding and understanding to support our additional language pupils.  Children are grouped according to their own individual merits and taught accordingly.

Progression

 Focus
NurserySongs, rhymes, speaking and listening, aural segmenting and blending using Fred throughout the day, building a love of reading, developing texts/rhymes through the year
Reception and KS1Children assessed and grouped within the cohort. Each group taught at their level by a trained professional – either teacher or TA (all trained). Those that need extra intervention, get it.
KS2Those that still need phonics are still taught it, aim to achieve 100% pass rate of the phonics screener. Those that failed are still monitored throughout key stage.

How is it taught?

Twice daily phonics sessions are taught tailored to our children’s needs, mainly based on principles and materials from ‘Read, Write, Inc’ with some ‘Jolly Phonics’ and ‘Letters and Sounds’ too.  Through the use of Read, Write, Inc, children are taught to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension, as well as being given daily opportunities to practise spelling correctly. This then feeds into their writing, where children are encouraged to independently use the Read, Write, Inc resources in the classroom such as Speed Charts. Phonics lessons are taught first thing every morning so that the children are able to apply their learning during the following English lesson. Children are grouped according to their own individual merits and taught accordingly. We also teach a whole class phonics lesson at the end of the day, where children are given the opportunity to revise the mornings learning.

Phonics Screening

At the end of Year One, children are subject to the Phonics Screener, a nationally administered assessment where children’s ability to segment to read is checked. In preparation for this, teachers administer a practice screener at the end of every half term. This enables the teachers to move each child forward as well as ensuring that the children are comfortable with the screener by the time the summer comes around.

All children are tracked, which means that those that are not making progress, receive extra help and intervention.  This is monitored in several ways, for example by class teachers, English co-ordinators and during pupil progress meetings.