At Holy Trinity, Reading and Phonics are a top priority and are key drivers for our curriculum. Therefore, we have a Literacy team comprised of the English Lead (KS2), Phonics Lead (EYFS) and Deputy Head (KS1).
The systematic teaching of Phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At Holy Trinity, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge to be able to complete the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. We also value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.
It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. The teaching of systematic Phonics is the foundation for this.
- At Holy Trinity we follow the ‘StoryTime Phonics’ synthetic phonics programme. StoryTime Phonics is a multi-sensory, engaging and dynamic approach to teaching and learning phonics, based on the Letters and Sounds DfE Framework.
- Each new grapheme is taught using a real story book, this helps children to make links between Phonics, Reading and Writing.
- All children in EYFS and KS1 have a daily Phonics lesson.
- Phonics is also practised and applied throughout the day during reading and writing activities, reading carousel activities and continuous provision in EYFS.
- Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables teachers to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers.
- All Phonics lessons are taught by the class teacher.
- Children are not taught in ability groups for Phonics, so as not to put a ‘ceiling on children’s learning’.
- Teachers systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.
- Teachers constantly and explicitly make links between learning phonics and the impact that it has on developing skills in early reading and writing.
- All teachers report to the Phonics subject leader and SLT on children’s progress and attainment in Phonics each half-term.
- The assessment information allows teachers to identify any gaps and it is used to inform future planning.
- Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as needs are identified.
- Children are encouraged to keep up with their cohort, rather than to catch up.
- Children not making the expected progress have 1:1 or small group intervention using bespoke packages.
- Children who enter Year 2 without meeting the expected standard for the Phonics Screening check receive additional support to address the gaps in their learning.
- Children in Year 3 who have not met the expected standard for the Phonics Screening Check begin the daily 1:1 Toe by Toe reading intervention programme.
- Parent workshops are held for parents of EYFS and Year 1 pupils so that parents are equipped with the skills and knowledge to support their children at home.
- Children’s home-school reading books are matched to the phonic phase that they are working at.
- Children have access at home, to a wide range of appropriately matched reading books on the online learning platform Active Learn Primary. Teachers regularly allocate and update the books according to the child’s Phonics phase and progress in reading.
- Children also have home access to Phonics practise games through our school subscription to Phonics Play and Bug Club Phonics on Active Learn Primary.
The Phonics curriculum is evaluated through the analysis of Phonics assessment information. This includes the assessment completed each half term by the class teacher and through analysis of the Phonics Screening Check outcomes at the end of Year One.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.
We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our Phonics and Reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum; this is further supported by the StoryTime Phonics approach for the teaching of Phonics.