On entry to Ranskill, all children are assessed through quality play with intentional interactions. The school has taken the best elements of Phase One (L&S 2007) and incorporated these into its own scheme. Our version of ‘Phase One’ (Ranskill's Road to Reading) ensures that children have secure foundations on which to build and are truly ready to begin learning GPC’s and applying this to reading, writing and spelling.
We have a 20 minute phonic session per day in Reception, Years One and Two alongside this we have additional daily handwriting and reading lessons. Where needed, small group interventions (‘keep up’ and/or ‘catch up) are carefully planned and delivered by our Phonics Lead, class teachers and teaching assistants.
Our lessons are well-planned for the cohort and follow the same cycle throughout EYs and KS1.
Revise and Rehearse– recap of previous phonemes and rehearsal of application to reading and writing.
Learn and Apply – teach a new sound and practise using it.
Reading Rehearsal – provide opportunities to identify the new sound linking it to previous spelling choices (if appropriate) and rehearsal of reading the new sound within words.
Writing Rehearsal – apply the new phoneme/ word to writing words, captions and sentences. (Rehearsing our strategy ‘asking the question’.)
Challenge: Teaching of tricky words and apply this to reading or writing also incorporating the phoneme from that day.
The fast paced, structured lessons ensure children receive clear, direct teaching with opportunities to practise and apply. All phonic resources are consistent across the school so children can use them confidently to reinforce their learning, including sound mats, flashcards, letter formation rhymes and tricky word prompts.
Our phonics programme has been written to ensure that KS2 build on the learning from KS1. This ensures that prior learning is valued, all teachers are experts in our phonics programme and children’s understanding of phonics is deepened/embedded. Our teaching of spelling lessons in KS2 builds on the prior phonics learning in KS1.
Revise and Rehearse: Recapping on prior learning of spelling rules and different spelling choices for phonemes.
Learn and Apply – teach a new spelling rule or pattern and practise identifying/ using it.
Writing Rehearsal – apply the new spelling pattern/rule when writing words, captions and sentences. Identify errors, editing, discussing and exploring the learning.
Vocabulary: Explicitly teaching vocabulary linked to spelling rule/pattern including Statutory Spellings for year group.
Challenge: Applying the learning in a challenging way.
Our sequence of progression ensures that teachers have high expectations for coverage. Quality teaching means that the scheme is rigorous and challenging. We embed grapheme phoneme correspondence (GPC) knowledge whilst teaching children how to apply this to independent reading and writing. Rehearsing the application of known GPC’s is at the core of our teaching sessions ensuring that all children make progress in every session.
We pride ourselves on providing regular continued professional development for all staff members to ensure that we are committed to our systematic synthetic phonic programme and are delivering phonics teaching in a consistent way. Phonics training is provided for all new parents and supportive documents have been produced for parents to use with the children. We believe that consistency should be threaded throughout home and school. When a school place is accepted, during the summer term before the children start school, we invite all parents and carers into school for their first training session.
We ensure that all staff use the same vocabulary and encourage the children to use it too. We know that a consistent, daily, well-paced phonics/spelling session is essential for the development of every child to ensure that ALL children are readers and can write confidently.
We have high expectations for children’s handwriting and try to instil a sense of pride in the children in the presentation of their work. We have linked the teaching of handwriting to our phonics scheme by writing a letter formation rhyme/story to help children form their letters correctly. Once the children are developmentally/physically ready, we introduce the cursive writing to aid joined handwriting (usually by Y2).
We assess the children’s GPC knowledge and how they apply this knowledge to reading, writing and spelling. We are committed to identifying those at risk of falling behind and work hard to ensure that they are highlighted and supported at the earliest possible opportunity. Where possible, we aim to keep the cohort together when teaching phonics to ensure that all children are exposed to all elements and there are high expectations for all children. For those children who need interventions, this is in addition to their daily phonics lesson in the form of a ‘keep-up’ or ‘catch-up’ session depending on the need of the individual children.
Formative assessment occurs in daily phonics sessions and children are given appropriate challenge at the correct level.
Pupil Progress meetings between the class teacher and the Senior Leadership Team highlights any children who may be falling behind or children who may need extra challenge and the impact of interventions.
All children have equal access to the curriculum as expressed in our Equal Opportunities Policy. We will ensure that phonics is accessible to pupils by:
• Setting suitable learning objectives and differentiated expectations.
• Responding to the variety of learning styles
The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. The screening usually takes place in the Summer Term of Year 1 and is completed by all schools nationally. This check is carried out during which the children will be assessed on their ability to segment and blend a range of 40 real and ‘alien’ words. Alien words are a selection of phonetically decodable nonsense words.
All children in year 1 must take the check, unless they have no understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences.
The check identifies the children who need extra help so they are given support by the school to improve their reading skills. If a child has not reached the required standard and not passed the check, then they will retake the check in the Summer Term of Year 2 and throughout Year 2 these pupils will have extra intervention to help them reach the required standard.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure children do not ‘fall behind,’ we know that some children will not completely absorb and retain the phonemes and spelling rules immediately. For children whom we feel need to repeat certain aspects, we assess thoroughly and plan either small group/ 1:1 interventions to enable the children to relearn and rehearse. This is monitored by the class teachers, SENco and KS 1 Lead. Other interventions are carefully planned and delivered to support children further.
Phonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One (Nursery/Reception)
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)
Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.