Our Intent for Phonics:
At Cawston Grange Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring that all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through daily, systematic and consistent high quality phonics teaching, children learn to blend sounds to read words and segment words to support their spelling ability. To allow our children to develop a strong phonemic awareness and effective blending and decoding skills, we have chosen to use a systematic, synthetic phonics programme called Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds Revised. This programme draws on the latest research into how children learn best, how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.
We strongly believe that teaching children to read and write independently is one of the core purposes of a primary school, enabling them to access a broad and exciting curriculum and ensuring they flourish as learners throughout their time at our school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. We also intend for all pupils to develop a love of reading, through using their phonic knowledge to read interesting, challenging texts that expand their imaginations and sharing books with people they love.
Summary: How we teach Phonics and Early Reading in Reception and Year 1
At Cawston Grange Primary School, we teach Phonics every single day for 20-25 minutes using the Little Wandle: Letters and Sounds Revised scheme. The children in Reception and Year 1 are currently streamed into 9 Phonics groups based on their phonic knowledge and ability with some pupils in Year 2 also receiving daily phonics lessons if needed. All members of staff are trained in the ‘Little Wandle Way’ of teaching to ensure consistency across the school.
Throughout daily lessons, staff will carry out formative assessments and feedback to class teachers so that any pupils that are finding it difficult can receive extra support. Teachers also carry out summative assessments with every pupil every half term to evaluate their progress and to ascertain any ‘gaps’ in their knowledge; they then use these assessments to adjust the phonics groups and planning accordingly. Teachers plan daily ‘Keep-up’ interventions in both Reception and Year 1 for pupils that need additional support, and these are adapted all the time to suit the needs of the pupils.
Alongside daily phonics lessons, these pupils also participate in Reading Practice sessions 2x a week, where they can apply the skills and knowledge they have developed to reading books. They are grouped by ability and each group works with a different member of staff on rotation. The first session is focused on decoding skills (sounding out and blending to read), and the second session is focused on the comprehension and prosody skills using the same book.
The children are then allocated the same reading book as an e-book to read to their families at home each week, alongside ‘Shared Readers’ and Library books that are to be read with their families too. Families and teachers can communicate progress through the children’s Reading Logs, and teachers ensure that families are aware of any extra support that children might be receiving at school.
Please make sure that your child is practising their reading using the allocated e-book every week! This is really important as it is the text most closely matched to their phonic knowledge, and it gives them opportunities to read a text independently to you to develop their pride and confidence in their reading
Please see the attached guide below to learn how to access the Collins e-book system.