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St Mary's C of E Primary School

Credenhill, Hereford

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School Statement on Phonics




At St. Mary’s C of E 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.



At our school we follow the Read Write Inc phonics programme from Foundation Stage, through KS1 and into KS2 if appropriate. Through the programme the children learn the 40+ phonemes which include the alternative pronunciation of sounds. The children become skilled at blending for reading and segmenting to aid spelling as well as learning to read and spell the common exception words.  Read Write Inc is also used to support children in Key Stage 2 as part of timetabled intervention.

The programme is carefully structured with each part of the phonics lesson having a specific purpose. The phonics sessions are fast paced and ensure the children’s constant participation and engagement, resulting in high-quality phonic work on a daily basis. A great deal of positive praise is used and children use different methods to learn to sound out (decode) words for reading and segment (encode) words for spelling. This helps teachers ensure that by the end of Key Stage 1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.



All pupils are assessed at appropriate intervals (half termly) as they progress. During daily sessions of phonics there are also 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.

Regular monitoring of the assessment outcomes allows teachers 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.



Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check. This is a phonics based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, decodable 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 as well as the local authority. 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 disapplied, with the acknowledgment of the parent/carer.



Through careful monitoring and tracking teachers 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 tutoring before the lesson or after the main lesson; one to one work with a trained practitioner or extra support for a child or small group of children within a lesson. 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.



If children in Key Stage 2 experience difficulty in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a crucial phase of the systematic phonics teaching additional resources can be used to support them.



Our aim at St Mary’s C of E 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.



Homework is used to support phonics taught in class, through tasks such as:


•Practising phonic skills in spelling words

•Spelling Shed phonics  games