, phonics continues to be a key focus. Since September 2020 we have adapted the way we teach phonics in each year group. Phonics is planned so that it can be taught in-school or remotely.
Reading Intent- At The Trinity Catholic Primary School we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. One of our priorities is helping children read and develop their all-important comprehension skills. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledgebase in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At The Trinity Catholic Primary School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Our staff teach children the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. All children in Reception, KS1 and, where necessary, KS2 have daily phonics sessions in small ability groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified. We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension. When children have completed the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme, reading is developed during guided reading, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. Strong links are made between reading and writing. Children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, which (where possible) are linked to their topics across the curriculum. All children read aloud daily during phonics or guided reading; in addition to this they read at least once more a week with teachers, teaching assistants, and reading volunteers; the focus being on the lowest 20%. Furthermore, Pupil Premium children have Reading Champions who listen to them read as often as possible; these are staff and governors. In whole class guided reading sessions, children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising. Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills. We recognise the importance of developing a rich and extensive bank of vocabulary; therefore, we discreetly teach vocabulary directly linked to the text during every phonics and guided reading session. This is reinforced daily during sessions, ensuring new vocabulary is embedded. All classes are exposed to a daily class reader, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children, and to expose them to new and varied vocabulary. All books shared with children are age appropriate and matched to the level of the class/individual. Reading at home is encouraged and promoted through class incentives and parental engagement sessions. Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home. Following this, children work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the child’s current reading ability. We expect family members at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is enhanced.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics (Read Write Inc) and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the Key Stage 2 curriculum.
As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident, and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.
Reading interventions focus on: − Word reading for children who are struggling to decode (1:1 reading sessions); And / or − Reading comprehension for those children who can decode appropriately but do not understand what they are reading (small group focus). All interventions are rigorous and systematic with the intention that these children catch up rapidly with their peers based on good knowledge of the children’s understanding and a clear personalised approach to ‘closing the gap.
Supporting reading at home
All children in Reception and Year 1 take home 2 reading books per week. These books are at a phonetically decodable level accessible to the children. • In addition to phonic books, all children take home a high quality picture book to share at home. This is a book that aims to develop language acquisition and comprehension whilst continuing to develop a love of reading. • All children that are reading at a phonic level (not free readers) take home word/sound cards to support their development of segmenting and blending words, appropriate to their phonic level. These words are checked in school every week by the class TA. • All parents are invited (Pre-Covid) to year group specific reading workshops that are led by the class teachers. This provides parents with ideas of how to support their children at home with reading. Further information is also available on our school website.
Phonics, Spelling and Grammar
In Key Stage 1 children have a clearly structured daily phonics session. At The Trinity, we use the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. This is differentiated in each class and children are placed into specified groups (within their bubble) to ensure that all children access phonics teaching and learning appropriate to their needs.
In Key Stage 2, teachers use the Silcock Spelling Scheme as a basis for the teaching and learning of spelling. Where appropriate, RWI is used to help children who needed extra spelling support in spelling. Key Stage 2 also follow the Classroom Secrets programme of study. A whole-school approach ensures that all gaps are covered and there is clear consistency throughout.
At the end of Year 1, the children are assessed using the Year 1 Phonics Screening test. Any children who do not pass this are then given additional support in Year 2. This year, Year 2 children will be assessed in Autumn 2. Any children who do not pass will be able to retake the phonics screening test in the summer term 2021.
All teachers have high expectations in the presentation of work in all areas of the curriculum. At The Trinity, direct teaching of handwriting takes place during the week where we firstly teach the children how to form cursive print including any pre-joins using the scheme "Letter Join". This then leads on to teaching the children to form cursive joined handwriting. Children are given opportunity to practice letter formation and joins at given times throughout the week as appropriate.
Within EYFS and the early stages of Year One, children should not be taught to join letters or to start every letter ‘on the line’ with a ‘lead-in’, because these practices cause unnecessary difficulty for beginners. Children may be taught to join the letters in digraphs, but this is optional. (All resources designed for children to read should be in print) ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phonics-teaching-materials-core-criteria-and-self-assessment/validation-of-systematic-synthetic-phonics-programmes-supporting-documentation#fn:3 ).