Dundee Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4BS
Our pupils learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme.
The programme is for:
Phonics Core Learning:
In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.
We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing. This is because it is known that pupils’ reading skills usually develop quicker than their writing skills, especially for children whose motor skills are less well developed.
In Nursery and Reception the emphasis is on learning the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly. This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings ie ‘tricky words’.
Teachers make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their phonic knowledge and the ‘tricky words’. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence, believing themselves to be readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.
Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils with the aim that they will soon be able to read these texts for themselves.
Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. Children are encouraged to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently. Children write every day.
Pupils use their knowledge of the alphabetic code and the tricky words they have learnt in their writing. The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have learned from the books the teacher has read to them.
Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.
Achievement in our school
Assessing and tracking progress
We assess all pupils from Year R to Year 4 on the Read Write Inc. Sound and Word Entry Assessment and we use these data to assign them to either Read Write Inc. Phonics or Read Write Inc. Literacy and Language, along with Read Write Inc. Spelling. This enables us to assess how well they are making progress relative to their starting points. We do this for all pupils, including new entrants, so that we can track all of them effectively and can assess the relative progress of groups of children, for example those with EAL or those eligible for Pupil Premium funding.
For those on the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, we record their starting date and entry point on the tracker to monitor the rate at which they are making progress. We can also easily identify those who joined the programme later.
In addition, we use a standardised reading test (GL Assessment) so that we can ensure that the gains our pupils are making are age-appropriate.
By the end of Key Stage 1, the vast majority of pupils are able to read age-appropriate texts aloud, accurately and fluently.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Additional Support
Pupils who are making slower progress than average, or who have SEND, usually complete the programme by the end of Year 2, but are supported by one to one tutoring for 15 minutes a day into Key Stage 2 if needed. All new arrivals in FS, KS1 and KS2 are assessed and, if necessary, are taught at the appropriate level to enable them to catch up with their peers.
Additional support for lower-attaining pupils
Pupils in the ‘lowest’ attaining group have the widest variety of needs. This is therefore the least homogeneous group. In order to give these pupils the same carefully targeted teaching as all the other groups, some of these pupils have daily one-to-one tutoring for 10 to 20 minutes, in addition to their group session. This tutoring helps us to meet their individual needs.
Phonic screening check
We have high expectations of our pupils’ progress. We expect the programme to have a positive impact on the percentage of children passing the phonics test this year, aiming to be at least in line with the national average pass rate.
Assessment and tracking of pupils
Assessment is a critical element of our programme. The Read Write Inc Leader and Inclusion Assistant assess:
We record the results from the Sound and Word Assessments, which take place every six to eight weeks, on the Assessment Tracker. These data allow us to intervene in different ways. For instance, we quickly move pupils to another group if they are progressing faster than their peers. Those who continue to struggle have one-to-one tutoring so that they keep up.
We support pupils to select appropriate books to take home, depending on what support they might receive at home. Pupils who receive little help take home books that they have already read in the Read Write Inc. lesson. This means that they are confident to read at home, even if their parents cannot read with them. Pupils in Nursery also take home stories and non-fiction that they cannot yet read for themselves but that have been read to them. Stories and new vocabulary are explained and discussed so all pupils have access to the books they read. Pupils also take home familiar picture books so that they can re-tell the story out loud and recall details and vocabulary.
The programme is intensive and cumulative, so poor attendance severely disrupts the progress of any pupils who are absent, for however short a time. Our Home School Links Worker meets with the parents of the pupils who have poor attendance.
Parents and carersWe invite parents/carers to an initial meeting and we hold workshops regularly to show how they can help their children read at home. We would like them to help their children, but we also recognise that some are not well-placed to do this. If they don’t, their children won’t suffer; it is our job to teach their children to read.
We organise repeat meetings for those who do not or cannot attend. We ensure that pupils whose parents do not attend keep up with their peers.
We check that they make good progress in lessons, we give them extra one-to-one lessons, and we encourage them to read to themselves and to siblings at home.
See the parent page on the Ruth Miskin Training website: