Phonics at Hartwell: 

Pre-reading skills are taught using synthetic phonics and the school following Speed Sound lessons, using resources from the ‘Read Write Inc’ program. This provides us with a multi-sensory approach that accommodates all learning styles. 

The children are taught within the phase that is appropriate to their level of development. They are assessed on a regular basis and groups are sorted accordingly.  The phonemes (sounds) are systematically taught before the children are shown how to blend them for reading and segmenting them for writing. Alongside this, the children are taught the ’high frequency words’ (those words that do not entirely follow the phonic rules). Staff receive regular training in the teaching of phonics, which ensures that they deliver interesting, interactive sessions that engage and motivate the children. 

Children take home each week a ‘phonics reading book’ linked to the phonic phase they are learning. Adults in school read regularly with children to check books provide opportunities for consolidation and challenge. 

In EYFS/KS1 phonics is taught daily.

Phonics is taught through the ‘Speed Sounds’ lessons from the Read Write Inc programme. All KS1/EYFS staff are trained to deliver this programme and each session is structured as follows:

Say the sound: (e.g. ee)

Read the sound: (e.g. ee-what can you see?)

Review the sound: (spot the new sound in the pack).

Read the words: (phonics word cards-e.g. see, three, been, green, seen, sleep).

Review the words: (words from previous lessons).

Reading assessment: (children read a few nonsense words)

Spell with Fred Fingers: (words to spell choose 2-3 e.g. see, three, been, green, seen sleep).

Spell review: (children write 2-3 previously taught words).

As the children read the word cards, they are encouraged to look for special friends, Fred Talk and finally to read the word. As they review the words, speedy reading is preceded with Fred in your head to build up effective blending skills.

Alongside the structure of the Speed Sounds lesson, Read Write Inc is based on the 3Ps-pace, participation and praise. We believe that these foster positive learning behaviours.

Pace- Signals such as ‘my turn, your turn’ indicate when the children need to watch their adult and when it is time for them to have a go. 

Participation-All children are expected to participate and work together co-operatively.   

Praise-Children’s efforts are praised using genuine and specific feedback. ‘Team cheers’ are used to celebrate success.

Assessment and Groupings

Children are grouped according to their sound knowledge from April in Class R. The children are organised into attainment groups across KS1 to ensure that each child is focussing on the set of sounds appropriate to their learning needs. Some groups will contain a mixture of Year 1 and Year 2 children. The children are assessed every half term and class teachers then review these phonic groups during Key Stage meetings.  

Where gaps are identified or progress is slower, these children will also receive an extra phonics intervention. A gap analysis is carried out to show where targeted teaching needs to take place in order to support Year 2 children who did not pass the phonics screening check. Particular sounds or blending issues are then addressed on a 1:1/ small group basis. 

To support the children’s learning and retention of new sounds, flashcards are sent home. These flashcards are designed to consolidate learning and enable rapid recall of sounds. Spellings sent home in Year 1 and Year 2 also reflect the graphemes taught during that week. 

Yearly Expectations

Programme of teaching and learning expectations:

Class R

By the end of the autumn term, we aim for most children to have completed Speed Sounds Set 1.

By the end of the year, we aim for most children to have completed Speed Sounds Set 2.

Class 1

By the end of the Autumn Term, we aim for most children to have completed Speed Sounds Set 3.

By the end of the year, we aim for most children to have completed the additional sounds. These are:

Class 2

In the autumn term, we look at alternative ways to spell the same sound. We study spelling patterns and investigate when to use each sound appropriately. E.g.

Class 2 then move onto the Year 2 reading/spelling curriculum (e.g. reading and spelling words containing suffixes and silent letters). As this happens, many previously taught GPCs can be revised at the same time as these words will usually contain them.

Red Words (Tricky Words)

Class R learn to read/spell the red words in set 1 and set 2.

Class 1 learn to read/spell the red words in set 2 and set 3.

Class 2 learn to read/spell the red words in set 3 and set 4.

Set 1

I   the   my   by   you   your   said   are   be   of   no  

Set 2

all   was   so   go   do   to   her   want   old  

we   me   he   she   they   put   push   pull   full     

Set 3

come   some   who   what   when   why   were   here   there   where   love   one   once   ask   have   like      little    friend   school   house  

Set 4

should   would   could   half   over   laugh   don’t   these   can’t   any    many   people   water   because   thought   bought   does   talk   walk   Mr   Mrs   great   son   watch   brother   their   worse   caught   other   another   through   baby   only   even   mother   eye   every   grey