We are proud to have created a bespoke Systematic, Synthetic Phonics programme at St Erth. Based on the phases of Letters and Sounds, we have developed a progressive scheme that teaches the phonemes needed to read in a specific, logical order. We have matched each sound to a high-quality guided reading text for the children to enjoy in shared reading as well as a nursery rhyme, poem and extended activities for throughout the day. Thanks to one of our incredibly talented Staff members, we have beautiful artwork to match decodable captions and questions for children to practise using their newly-learned sounds. We have also created flashcards and composed stories to support sounds taught and resources are added daily to our growing bank of tools for teaching our children to read with confidence and enjoyment.
Each phase has individual and group assessments to inform adults of children's progress and any areas that need further support to embed. Teachers and Teaching Assistants (many of whom are reading experts) work quickly to close any gaps, carrying out interventions on the same day of teaching a sound to ensure it is understood.
We have ensured all of the reading books we ask chidlren to read independently are decodable by matching up all of our reading books to the sets of sounds we teach. We have also invested in new books to support our programme and will continue to build our reading library whenever we can. Alongside this, there are many books for children to share with adults in school and at home to develop their love of reading and interest in a variety of stories and texts.
Teachers in Key Stage 2 also use the programme to carry out interventions and support any children who require further phonics support.
By following our own systematic synthetic programme based on Letters and Sounds, incorporating good practise and resources from our experience and adopting an all-encompassing approach with extended learning opportunities, children at St Erth are being offered a quality approach to becoming confident readers.
St Erth Reading Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
At St Erth, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading. We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through systematic, synthetic phonics, shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers. We recognise that some children need extra help to achieve their full potential in reading, and where pupils’ have identified educational needs in this area, thought and care is taken to ensure that they are able to access the full curriculum and achieve their potential. Special consideration is made to ensure that pupils with educational needs in this area are given all the help, strategies and support they need to become good readers, both in decoding and comprehending. Furthermore, careful thought is taken to ensure that books that are utilised with learners with special needs are enjoyable and at the right level to motivate them and help foster a love of reading which can be harder to acquire when there are extra barriers to overcome.
It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for not only reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. We work hard to foster a love of independent reading. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.
Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too linking our shared texts to our termly topics.
Implementation (Early Reading and Phonics)
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want your child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. Our bespoke systematic synthetic phonics programme has links for each sound to a high-quality shared reading text to enthuse each child.
We start by teaching phonics in the Foundation Stage (Reception) and Key stage 1. At St Erth, we follow our bespoke Systematic, synthetic phonics programme: St Erth Letters and Sounds: Phonics and Reading. This is based on the principles of Letters and Sounds and the practice of high quality phonics. The five phases of St Erth Letters and Sound: Phonics and Reading document provides a structure for the teachers to follow and plan children’s progression. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s daily and phased assessments allow for early intervention to take place.
Discreet phonic sessions take place daily for at least 20 minutes and there are also extended phonics activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day to further embed their phonics learning in Early Years and where appropriate in KS1.
Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities. Each phoneme is linked to a nursery rhyme or song to further embed each sound.
Teachers regularly read with the children so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This is in addition to the books that they bring home which are decodable relating to the sounds the children know. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. All classrooms have a reading area. In key Stage 1 this is a book corner with books that are frequently changed for interest. In Key Stage 2, classrooms have a class library as space is limited in classrooms. The school library is a dedicated space that children can enjoy and share books in a comfortable environment where the children can access a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction to help embed their love of books, stories and reading and the school library is also constantly being developed.
For some, reading is a hard skill to master and careful consideration is made for those who have special educational needs in this area. Strategies and interventions used to help a child reach their potential in reading may differ according to need. Screening helps us identify particular needs such a processing time, spelling, working memory, phonological awareness and this understanding allows us to put the right strategies in place to help the pupil make progress. Having a close working relationship with parents also helps progress in this area so that strategies and methods used in school can also be implemented at home.
We believe that reading is key to all learning and the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Our reading curriculum ensures children 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 created and this is demonstrated through daily, lively and meaningful discussion about reading. Alongside this, children show enthusiasm and are able to talk in detail about the variety of books they have read as a class, as a group and as an increasingly confident, independent reader making informed choices about their reading.
Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through daily and phased- phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing. Through these, teachers identify the graphemes that need to be addressed and quick and effective interventions take place as well as celebrating the children’s progress. In June, the national Phonics Screening Check is undertaken for Year 1, to confirm that the children have learned to decode to an age appropriate standard and determines what level of provision they will require the following year. There are clear expectations for each year group in our Systematic, Systematic Phonics Programme and this is continue to be used into Key Stage 2 for intervention.
Throughout the school, progress is mapped on an online school tracker which allows us to monitor and track our reading curriculum. This includes all statements from our Reading curriculum (based on the National Curriculum) and we directly assess what we teach and progress is tracked. Evidence for this is recorded in Floor Books with examples of children’s work and notes made by Teachers and Teaching Assistants. Termly assessments in Key Stage 2 (NFER) offer a standardised score which allows teachers to track progress against a National scale and these help to inform Teacher Assessments in termly pupil progress meetings. We have termly moderations to ensure good progress is made and for opportunities to share good practice and resources.
The English Lead has monitored the implementation and impact of our bespoke Phonics scheme and weekly catch ups monitor the impact of our programme which is viewed very positively and all staff are proud of and dedicated to embedding, developing and celebrating our scheme.
For pupils with SEND in this area, impact will be seen both formally and informally, assessment through marking of work will inform progress, and those on the SEND register have their own bespoke targets. However, impact is also seen informally; when a pupil is making progress in reading they are motivated to engage in their work and enjoy their learning.