Phonics and Early Reading

At Strand Primary Academy phonics is taught in accordance with the RWI Program. Our RWI Program begins in our Nursery where adults and children share a wide variety of books, allowing children time to explore and use new vocabulary and widen their understanding of story book language. Children are then introduced to the pictures that accompany each sound in the set one sounds (These are displayed on Sound Mats and can be found in the Related Documents at the bottom of the page). In the third term the children begin to learn the letter sound correspondences. Children then move through to the reception class where their RWI journey continues. Our aim is to develop the children’s phonological awareness, ability to segment and blend words and to read tricky words by sight.

Our core principles of Phonics teaching are:

That it is part of a broad and rich curriculum that engages children in a range of activities and experiences to develop their speaking and listening skills and phonological awareness

  • That it is time-limited- we aim that our pupils are confident readers, reading with a good degree of fluency by a minimum of the end of Key Stage 1
  • That it is systematic- it follows a carefully planned program reinforcing and building on previous learning to secure children’s progress
  • That the 5 P’s are adhered to Pace, Praise, Participation, Purpose and Passion.
  • That there are ample opportunities to reinforce and apply acquired phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum.
  • That those pupils who are struggling to keep up with the pace in the daily phonics session, receive swift support to allow them to get back on track. We are a ‘keep up’ not ‘catch up’ academy.

Program of Teaching Expectations

Foundation Stage: Reception classEnd of Autumn 1: Read single-letter Set 1 soundsEnd of Autumn term: Read all Set 1 sounds; blend sounds into words orallyEnd of Spring 1: Blend sounds to read words; read short Ditty storiesEnd of Spring term: Read Red StorybooksEnd of Summer 1: Read Green Storybooks; read some Set 2 soundsEnd of Summer term: Read Green or Purple Storybooks
Year 1End of Autumn 1: Read Purple Storybooks; read some Set 2 soundsEnd of Autumn term: Read Pink Storybooks; read all Set 2 soundsEnd of Spring 1: Read Orange Storybooks; read some Set 3 soundsEnd of Spring term: Read Yellow StorybooksEnd of Summer 1: Read Yellow Storybooks; read all of Set 3 soundsEnd of Summer term: Read Blue Storybooks
Year 2End of Autumn 1: Read Blue StorybooksEnd of Autumn term: Read Blue Storybooks with increasing fluency and comprehensionEnd of Spring 1: Read Grey StorybooksEnd of Spring term: Read Grey Storybooks with fluency and comprehensionEnd of Summer 1: Access RWI Comprehension and Spelling programmesEnd of Summer term: Access RWI Comprehension and Spelling programmes

All phonics sessions occur daily and for a minimum of 25 minutes in Early Years and for a minimum of 45 minutes in KS1.

For those pupils moving into KS2 who are still not secure in terms of their phonics knowledge and/ or blending, the RWI program continues at the children’s current RWI level and additional intervention is put into place to ensure that they catch up quickly. The independent activities that these pupils access during their Whole Class Reading Session should also reflect and support their needs. The children accessing additional interventions will be assessed half-termly using RWI assessments and phonic screening tests to measure impact and identify gaps in phonic knowledge to then inform future intervention.

 Teachers follow clearly planned and structured lessons as part of the RWI program. In addition:

  • Phonics activities are available throughout the continuous provision to ensure reconsolidation of adult led activities.
  • Pupils have access to fully decodable texts, which match their phonic knowledge – RWI Book Bag Books.
  • For those pupils who are unable to keep up in class, additional phonics support is offered and this is tailored to a particular child’s/ group’s needs.

At Strand Primary Academy we start children’s reading journey by providing every child that starts in Reception with an amazing book bag package that includes; a book of nursery rhymes, a traditional story and a guide for supporting early phonics and reading at home.

Children take home a reading book that is decodable as well as a book to read for the purposes of developing their comprehension skills and ensuring children have an enjoyable and rich reading experience. Pupils are encouraged to select a book for themselves which an adult at home may read to them. These books are taken from the ‘Top 30 books’ for each year group which are placed outside each year group classroom.

Assessment of Phonics:

Our pupils are monitored daily throughout their phonics sessions to ensure that no pupils get left behind. If a child is struggling to embed the current learning, then swift and timely intervention is put into place immediately.

Pupils are assessed half- termly by the Reading Leader using the RWI Individual assessments. The Reading leader then assigns pupils to their RWI group provides support to class teachers in identifying children who will be targeted for specific interventions to allow all children to ‘Keep up’. Interventions will all take the form of RWI 1:1 Tutoring which will be assigned to children depending on their current phonics abilities.

Useful Links

Here you will find information about Read Write Inc…

Parent Guide: Understanding Phonics

Parent Guide: Pronunciation of sounds

Parent Guide: Sound Blending

Parent Guide: Handwriting                                                                      

Parent Guide: Spelling