St Patrick's Primary School, Liverpool

Phonics

In St. Patrick’s, our phonic teaching aims to ensure all children are fluent readers. By our children being able to confidently and fluently read we know that this will unlock our whole curriculum.

The curriculum, teaching and learning

Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is an inclusive programme for all children learning to read. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. The use of pictures and memorable phrases is used to aid children’s retention and recall of phonemes for reading and spelling. Children are given ample opportunities to orally explore characters’ action, thoughts and feelings and to rehearse their writing.

The R.W.I sessions are expected to occur each day with no exceptions, as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development. All staff (including those who are not classroom based) are trained and the expectation is that these staff will provide cover for staff absence, should the need arise. In this way, daily provision is consistent and uninterrupted.

Aims and Objectives

To teach children to:

  • apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
  • segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
  • learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
  • read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
  • read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
  • decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.

Teaching and Learning Style

This is based on the 5 Ps.

Praise – Children learn quickly in a positive climate.

Pace – Good pace is essential to the lesson.

Purpose – Every part of the lesson has a specific purpose.

Passion – This is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers put into the lesson that bring the teaching and learning to life!

Participation – A strong feature of R.W.I. lessons is partner work and the partners ‘teaching’ each other (based on research which states that we learn 70% of what we talk about with our partner and 90% of what we teach).

Implementation

Pupils work within ability groups which are defined by their performance on R.W.I. phonic assessments. Pupils are re-assessed every 6 weeks and the groups are reorganised accordingly.

Teacher generated planning is minimized as the planning is integrated into the teacher’s handbooks and follows set routines. Each group leader has a printed format for planning ditties or storybook lessons. To this framework, is added the particular ditty/ storybook being studied, new phonic elements that are being introduced and any other points worthy of note for future use.

LSA’s will be responsible for planning for their R.W.I groups, with the support of the R.W.I lead as required. LSA’s will be given preparation time prior to the daily sessions.

Delivery of Phonics

  • Initial sounds are taught in a specific order.
  • Sounds taught should be ‘pure’ ie ‘b’, not ‘buh’ as this is central to phonic teaching and ability to recognise sounds in words.
  • Children are to be taught that the number of graphemes in a word always corresponds to the number of phonemes. This greatly aids spelling.
  • Set 2 sounds are to be taught after Set 1 (initial sounds)
  • Letter names are to be introduced with Set 3.

Assessment and Recording

Children are assessed throughout every lesson. Every time partner work is used the teacher assesses the progress of the children. The teacher assesses how children:

  • read the grapheme chart
  • read the green and red word lists
  • decode the ditty/story
  • comprehend the story

Each group leader is requested to keep a register to identify pupils that are absent or pupils that need extra reinforcement of a particular element that has been covered.

Formal assessment is carried out periodically by the phonics lead to ensure consistency using the R.W.I. phonic checks.

Monitoring and Review

The R.W.I. lead

  • organises the assessment of all pupils accessing phonics and designates pupils to the correct groups
  • assigns leaders to groups
  • ‘drops in’ on R.W.I. groups to give advice and to informally check that pupils are in the correct groups
  • where necessary models lessons
  • attends up-date meetings when they occur and reports back to the R.W.I. group leaders
  • speaks with the head teacher regarding groupings, teaching spaces and other pertinent matters
  • is responsible for reporting to the governors about the quality of the implementation of R.W.I. and the impact on standards.

Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.

Children who are new to their English reading journey on entry to our school will begin their phonics journey with initial sounds.

Useful Website
Bug Club
Phonics Song (YouTube)
Phonics Games
Mr Thorne’s Phonics
Oxford Owl
Phonics Play
lettersandsounds.com