Our Curriculum Threads
Our curriculum threads are woven through our phonics curriculum as it:
Encourages children to develop their LANGUAGE AND ORACY through oral blending, as well as identify and apply the letters and sounds that make up our language. In turn this facilitates them to become excellent communicators.
Enables WISDOM to be acquired through segmenting and blending which allows children to access the wider curriculum. There is WONDER in unlocking new and ambitious vocabulary during phonics lessons, which in turn, inspires their writing.
Contributes significantly to children’s HEALTH AND HAPPINESS through a systematic approach, mirroring children’s need for routine. As a result of this robust approach, children will be able to read, enabling them access to resources which support their physical and mental health.
Considers DIVERSITY through a wide range of brand new texts, which are phonically decodable and accessible to all throughout the programme. The INCLUSION of all children is promoted through rigorous and systematic interventions, which enable all children to ‘keep up, rather than catch up’.
Reading and Phonics
At Winkfield St. Mary’s Primary School, we want all our children to develop a love of reading which will enable them to actively seek books as a source of pleasure and enjoyment. We want them to become enthusiastic, independent and confident readers. To do this they need to have opportunities to read for interest, pleasure and information, and encouragement to select from a wide range of literature.
We have a large selection of reading scheme and ‘free reading books’ which are used for reading lessons, individual reading and for reading at home. Children are given opportunities to read with adults and to listen to stories and this is supported by our key text approach ‘The Literacy Tree’ in KS1 and KS2 English lessons. This helps them to develop their expression, understanding and enjoyment. Reading lessons are led by the teacher and are linked to next steps in learning. Each week all children visit our school library and are able to borrow a book of their choice.
Phonics teaching takes place daily in EYFS and Year One classes. The Phonics scheme ELS is used by practitioners to plan and deliver sessions. This also supports some readers in Year Two and Key Stage Two.
Whilst every adult at Winkfield St Mary’s is responsible for supporting children's spoken, reading and written skills; Miss O’Connor is our English Subject Leader.
At Winkfield St. Mary’s Primary School, phonics is planned in line with the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum which both acknowledge the following:
- A rigorous, systematic, synthetic phonics programme is the key to beginning to learn to read and write.
Phonics within the EYFS Framework aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs
- Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending
- Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words
- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed
- Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters
- Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others
Phonics within the National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
- apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
- respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes
- read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught
- read ‘common exception words’ (which in ELS are referred to as ‘harder to read and spell words’), noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
- read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
- read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
- read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
- re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading
At Winkfield St. Mary’s Primary School, we want all of our children to develop a love of phonics, which will enable them to actively seek books as a source of pleasure and enjoyment as well as wanting to pick up a pen and record their thoughts, feelings, imagination and knowledge. We want them to become enthusiastic, independent and confident readers and writers. To do this, they need to have opportunities to read and write within phonics lessons and during the school day.
At Winkfield St, Mary’s, phonics is taught daily in Reception and Year One. The ELS scheme is used by practitioners to plan and deliver sessions and we have invested heavily in training all staff who work directly with children. In addition to this, we have resourced phonetically decodable books for in class and at home. Once children come off of the ELS books, we have a large selection of reading scheme and ‘free reading books’ which are used for reading lessons, individual reading and for reading at home. The children are made aware of what a ‘sounds’ book and what a ‘sharing book’ is. Their ‘sounds’ book will always be a book that they are able to read independently. A ‘sharing book’ is a book that will not be fully decodable by the child but can be shared at home with adult support.
Three different types of intervention run daily for children who have not been able to grasp the concept of the lesson or task. These interventions are run by both learning support assistants and class teachers.
More able challenges are set during lessons to extend and further challenge our more able learners to continue to develop their fluency, prosody and expression.
Monitoring of the teaching and learning of phonics across the school takes place on a regular basis through learning walks, book looks and pupil conferencing. Internal and external moderations are carried out throughout the year to identify children who are yet to make expected progress. This then supports us to adapt and develop our curriculum accordingly.
ELS has its own assessment tools which support adults in allocating children into the most appropriate group. The Development Matters Framework and the Early Learning Goals support teachers in the Early Years to make well informed decisions of children's attainment and next steps. Regular phonics assessments in both Key Stages One and Two provide teachers with standardised assessments which evaluate children's understanding of taught concepts and can, in turn, address any misconceptions or gaps in learning. Once this is identified, teachers will plan for these to be addressed in tailored interventions.