At St Peter at Gowts CE Primary School, all children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 receive daily phonics teaching. Our school follows the Read Write Inc programme, alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the National Curriculum framework documents.

Read Write Inc is designed to help teachers teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling. It focuses on securing word recognition skills, as these are essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately with ease, and so concentrate on comprehending and composing text. Systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but more is needed for children to achieve the goal of reading, which is comprehension.

With phonics, children are taught to read by learning the phonemes (sounds) that represent letters or groups of graphemes (letters). With this knowledge, children can begin to read words by learning how to blend the sounds together. Unlocking how this alphabetic code works means they can learn to decode any word. These words can also be broken down (segmented) into their phonemes for spelling. They will also be taught to read words that don’t follow the phonic rules. Children will build up a stock of these tricky words that they can recognise straight away.

The Phonics Screening Test is used within Years One and Two as an assessment tool. The check contains a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ to assess the children’s decoding skills within Year One. Children who have not met the standard in Year One, will retake the check in Year two. Interventions will be put in place for those children who need additional phonic support.

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