The Teaching of Phonics at Westbury–on–Severn C. of E. Primary School
At Westbury – on – Severn Church of England Primary School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers; to enable children to learn phonic knowledge and skills with the expectation that they will become fluent readers, having secured word building and recognition skills.
For children to develop as competent readers and writers, it is essential that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonics skills are developed through planned, systematic lessons which then lead to the enjoyment of a variety of books, the appreciation of different genres and the ability to access information independently. We use picture books, novels and factual texts to engage and stimulate learning, ensuring children enjoy high quality writing that elevates their knowledge and understanding. We draw upon Oxford Reading Tree texts which are supplemented with a number of books from different schemes and recommendations.
Our primary aims are:
To develop phonetic skills which lead to fluency when blending and reading.
To establish consistent practice, progression and continuity in the teaching and learning of phonics and spelling throughout the school.
To give children strategies that will enable them to become fluent readers and confident writers.
To promote confidence and a love of reading.
To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies; supporting those who are progressing slowly in acquiring reading skills through personalised interventions.
Tracking and assessment
All pupils are assessed at appropriate intervals (half termly) as they progress. The teacher assesses how children:
read the graphemes
match graphemes, words
read and write high frequency and tricky words
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 chances to observe the application of phonic skills, e.g. during guided/ shared reading.
Phonics Screening Check
In 2011-12 the government introduced the statutory checking of a child's understanding of phonics for Year One pupils. The Year One Phonics Screening Check is a national check of children's phonic knowledge that all children in England are required to complete. The check combines a mixture of real and pseudo (nonsense) words which the children have to decode (read). The check takes place at the end of Year One.