Oversight: Mrs Hunt
Subject leaders: Mrs Whiteside and Mrs Perkins
At Northlands, as in all settings, we understand the crucial importance that phonics plays in pupils good development. We have a consistent approach to ensuring that our pupils (and through our workshops our parents) are given the skills they need to become fluent readers before they reach Key Stage 2. We seek to ensure no pupils fall through the gaps and all children who do not pass their phonics screening tests have regular interventions and monitoring.
At Northlands we use Read, Write Inc to deliver our phonics lessons. We chose this because of its reputation for achieving results as well as for its interactivity and fun. Through regular monitoring we ensure that the phonics is taught consistently and stays true to the scheme. We have 5 phonics groups from Year R to Year 2 which allows for pupils to access what they need with the right amount of stretch and support. The groups are also fluid enabling pupils to move when they need to and not just at assessment points. We are also well aware that a pre-cursor to success in phonics is a good grasp of the English language. Our school has a higher than average proportion of EAL pupils and so we follow the Nuffield Early Language Intervention which equips children with the language skills they need to thrive in phonics lessons.
As a result of our consistent whole school approach to the teaching of phonics, if you were to walk into one of our phonics lessons, you would see that all pupils are familiar with the structures and routines (e.g. My Turn, Your Turn). Pupils are confident in the subject materials and understand what they are learning. Progress in Year R is excellent and the majority of pupils in Year 1 and 2 make at least good or better progress. Our latest Ofsted detailed that, 'Reading is at the heart of the curriculum. From the very start of Reception, staff teach phonics well. This continues throughout Years 1 and 2. This is a result of effective whole school training.' Ofsted November 2019.
We all know how confusing it can be when helping your child at home. Are we teaching the right method? Is it different to the school's? This is why we have held a range of support workshops including a reading workshop designed to support parents with early reading and particularly the -sometimes-confusing world of phonics. Our workshops were well attended and feedback from parents was great!