Early reading skills are developed, introducing children to the sounds in KS1 where the children learn to decode, through the systematic synthetics phonic programme of RWI (Read Write Inc.). Phonics is taught daily. We start by teaching the children to see a letter and then say the sound it represents. We teach the letters S,A,T,P,I,N first, so that they can sound out a wide variety of words (e.g. sat, pin, pat).
The children are then taught how to blend individual sounds together to say a whole word. They will start with CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words such as sit, pan, tap, before moving on to CCVC words (e.g. stop, plan) and CVCC words (e.g. milk, past). Once the children have learnt individual letter sounds, they will start learning to read and write digraphs. They will learn consonant digraphs (e.g. ch, sh, ng) and vowel digraphs (e.g. ea, oo, ai). Then they will move on to sounding out whole words such as hair, moon, chin etc. Alongside this, children will be introduced to ‘tricky words’ (also called common exception words). These are common words that don’t follow the normal phonics rules (e.g he, she, was, they, all).
Once children are confident with the above, they will start learning more graphemes. They will learn that one sound can be represented by different graphemes. For example, the ‘ai’ sound (rain) can be represented as ‘ay’ (day), ‘a_e’ (make), ‘eigh’ (eight) and ‘a’ (apron). Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will also be introduced, e.g. ‘ea’ in sea, head and break. By this point, the children should be able to read many familiar words automatically and sound out unfamiliar words. They should be able to spell words phonetically, but not necessarily correctly.
The aim now is to support children to become more fluent readers and accurate spellers. The children will begin to learn more complex spelling rules such as prefixes, suffixes and silent letters. They will continue to practise reading on a daily basis to develop speed, fluency and comprehension.
Our pupils are prepared for the phonic screening test in Year One, which gives them a foundation for future learning, especially in preparation for them to become confident and fluent readers. Pupils that do not pass the phonics screening test are supported with intervention to ensure that they pass by the end of Year 2.
When a pupil is not on track with age-related expectations, intervention is put in place through group or 1:1 reading support, enabling them to catch up and achieve in line with age-related expectations.