At Eythorne and Elvington, we are passionate about ensuring all pupils become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. We value reading as a key life skill, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum, and we are ambitious for every child and dedicated to enabling our pupils to achieve success by becoming lifelong readers and confident writers. We aspire for children to read words and simple sentences by the end of Reception, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they move through school.
Through the consistent teaching of phonics following Letters and Sounds (awaiting validated scheme) the children are taught the essential skills and knowledge needed for reading and for writing. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Key Stage 1, where lessons are structured using our whole school approach of:
Review | Teach | Practise | Apply
REVIEW – Prior GPC / word learning is reviewed at the beginning of each lesson to ensure all children have the previous knowledge required for the lesson ahead.
TEACH – New grapheme / words are introduced and explored.
PRACTISE – Children practise their new learning and connect with prior learning to recognise the graphemes / words being taught.
APPLY – Children apply new learning and connect with prior learning to read / write words and sentences with confidence.
To enable our pupils to apply their developing phonics knowledge in both reading and writing and to ensure connections are being made by the children between the two strands of literacy, we follow a two-day approach to the teaching of phonics:
Day 1 – Reading focus with new grapheme / words.
Day 2 – Writing focus with new grapheme / words.
By the end of Reception, we are determined for all children to have a secure knowledge and understanding of Phases 2 and 3 of Letters and Sounds and to be able to segment and blend words within these phases. Into Year 1, children are required to consistently connect with their prior knowledge of phases 2 and 3 to read longer words and sentences before moving onto Phase 5, where pupils learn the alternative spellings for previously taught sounds. In Year 2, children are required to demonstrate and apply their knowledge of all phases consistently in both their reading and writing. Phonics sessions are grouped by ability within classes to ensure that ALL children’s needs are met and additional support for those children who are working below expected level is delivered through high quality, targeted and purposeful interventions.
Across EYFS and Key Stage 1, pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. This includes extra one-to-one reading for those children who are most vulnerable to enable them to catch up to meet age related expectations.
Children have phonically decodable reading books matched to their phonics knowledge which they are encouraged to read regularly at home to ensure fluency in reading is developed. Books are chosen from our reading schemes – Big Fat Collins Readers and Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds.
Through our consistent approach to the teaching of phonics and dedicated staff, where children are encouraged to always persevere, children make good progress from their starting points. Most of our pupils are ready for the next stage in their education as they move from Reception, Key Stage 1 and into Key stage 2. Children’s developing confidence in their reading skills allows them to be ambitious for themselves and strive to achieve success in both their reading and writing as they work through the phases. Key Stage 2 pupils promote a love of reading and show empathy to our younger children by enjoying books and stories together during playtimes.
We believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our phonics curriculum goes beyond and is embedded across the entire curriculum.