English - Phonics
At Carlton Miniott Primary Academy, we value reading as a key life skill and recognise its importance for academic success. All teachers have the highest expectations and are determined to ensure that our children become confident, fluent readers. This is achieved through the consistent implementation of our chosen systematic synthetic phonics programme, which is Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds.
The intent behind our phonics approach is to:
- Deliver high-quality systematic synthetic phonics teaching so that children consistently use phonics as the route to reading unknown words.
- Maintain the pace of the phonics teaching so that children become fluent, independent readers by the end of KS1.
- Ensure children’s reading books show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that matches the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know to support decoding skills.
Phonics is implemented through daily phonics sessions in Reception and Year 1, following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds teaching programme.
- Phase 1 is consolidated through regular listening games, music activities, storytelling and rhyme time.
- The Phase 2 programme of teaching begins shortly after children enter Reception.
- We ensure the teaching of phonics is systematic and consistent across school. The lessons are always taught at a fast pace to ensure children are highly engaged for the sessions.
- A whole class approach is used to teach phonics.
- All taught sessions follow the four-part structure, Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise and Apply.
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible.
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
- Alongside ongoing formative assessment, we use Little Wandle half termly summative assessments and we use Phonics Tracker to track progress . This enables us to identify gaps in the children’s phonic knowledge.
- Gaps are addressed within the Revisit and Review part of each phonics lesson, in addition to the provision of individual and group support using Little Wandle intervention programmes and English Hub catch-up strategies.
- Daily 5-minute boxes and extra one-to-one reading sessions are used to support any child who needs additional practice.
- Regular progress meetings are held with the assessment lead to monitor children making the slowest progress.
- Children in danger of falling behind, or who are working under expected levels (lower 20%), are swiftly identified and additional support is provided to enable them to keep up.
- Any child in Year 2 who does not pass the Phonics Screening Check, continues to access daily phonics sessions with the Year 1 class.
- We teach children to read through guided reading sessions twice a week.
- Children are taught in small groups of approximately six.
- We use books matched to the children’s current phonics knowledge.
- Phonetically decodable readers are used in class and for home reading practice (Phonics Bug, Big Cat for Letters and Sounds, Songbirds Phonics, ORT Phonics,)
- Children in KS2 who are still working on phonics mastery have access to fully decodable books with a high interest level.
- Parents are helped to know how best to support children in learning sounds through our phonics workshops, online videos and home learning packs.
- Reading at home is strongly promoted through our Home Reading Challenge.
The impact of our consistent and systematic teaching of phonics is that children become fluent readers by the end of KS1. This is further evidenced by our Phonics Screening Check data (2018 – 90%, 2019 – 93%, 2020 – 97%, 2021 - 92%. 2022 - 91%) and our Year 2 reading data (2018 – 79%, 2019 – 83%, 2020 – 89%, 2021 - 90%, 2022- 81%).