Phonics is taught daily from Nursery and throughout KS1 at St John’s using the Letters and Sounds Phonics Scheme. Children are also able to access fully decodable books from the Collins scheme, applicable to their level of phonic development.
We aim for all of our children to leave St. John’s as competent, confident readers and writers. Our high expectations of all learners, despite the challenges some pupils’ face, ensure that all pupils make considerable progress. Through our teaching of phonics, children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The children are taught the essential skills needed for reading and writing. The teaching of phonics is of high priority. We believe children need to acquire key phonic knowledge and develop skills in segmenting and blending to develop fluency in reading. As well as acquiring these fundamental phonics skills, we value the importance and impact of reading for pleasure by encouraging pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.
Children are taught new knowledge, in line with their current phase and are given many opportunities to practise this together with the support of the teacher. Children are supported in connecting their new knowledge with their previous learning. When teachers are engaging and motivating, children mirror their teacher’s mood, attitude, pay attention and enjoy learning. Teachers take full account of the child’s individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and understanding and profile of needs.
As a result of high quality phonics teaching, we aim for children to be able to access all areas of the curriculum with enthusiasm, confidence and enjoyment. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning- therefore, the impact of our phonics and reading curriculum can be seen in success across the curriculum as children progress through school.
Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through periodic phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing and contributions in phonics sessions. Through these, teachers identify the graphemes and areas of application that need to be addressed, which then informs groupings and future planning. In Year 1, the national Phonics Screening Check is undertaken to confirm that the children have learned to decode to an age appropriate standard and this also determines what level of provision they will require the following year.