At Flora Gardens Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. In order for this to happen, children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending.
Starting in the Foundation Stage, we place a high priority on the systematic teaching of phonics which continues into Key Stage 1 and beyond. We use a range of phonics programmes including ‘Letters and Sounds’, ‘Read, Write Inc’ and ‘Rising Stars’, to ensure our children are taught to read and write effectively and quickly, whilst also developing the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
Through the teaching of phonics, children are taught the essential skills needed for reading and writing. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Phase 1 phonics begins in Nursery and as children move into Reception they continue to build on their listening skills and are introduced to Phase 2. Phonics is taught discretely, following the ‘Revisit, Teach, Practise, Apply, Assess’ format which we have found to be highly effective. Children revise previous learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt, giving teachers opportunities to assess the learning. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps on misconceptions. Extra support is provided for children across all years who are working below the expected level, as well as planned interventions to the children in Year 2 who did not pass their phonics screening in Year 1. As well as whole class phonics lessons, pupils also have regular reading sessions with an adult to ensure they are practicing and applying their phonics skills. Children take home books weekly including phonics books matched to their ability and sound knowledge, as well as books for pleasure.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is that our children will become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing comprehension skills and fluency as their journey through Flora Gardens continues. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.