Maritime Academy Trust

Maritime is a charitable education trust with schools across London and the South East.

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Phonics and Early Reading

At TimbercroftPrimary School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme and there must be consistency in implementation across the whole school. 

We use Ruth Miskin’s Read, Write Inc. to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds at speed and identify the different ways that they might be represented. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. We also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills, recognising the importance of talk, and of building a love of stories and reading. 

If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow the link below to find the programme overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources to use at home. 

https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/reading-schemes-oxford-levels/read-write-inc-phonics-guide/ 

How we teach phonics

  • In the Nursery, children are introduced to ‘Fred the Frog’ who speaks in sounds. The focus is on daily oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes. Towards the end of Summer term, the children are introduced to the pictures which correspond with letters. 

  • In Reception, Y1 & Y2, children follow the progression within the Read, Write Inc programme. Phonics lessons are taught daily to all children, who are assessed half-termly and set into challenge groups. Additional tutoring takes place for those children who need catch-up work. 

  • In Y3-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions for those children who are identified as not meeting the above expectations. These follow the Read Write Inc Fresh Start programme. 

Reading sessions

Following the model set out by Read, Write Inc. children read a fully matched decodable text. This takes place in small challenge groups, with children encouraged to work in partners to support each other's reading. The focus is on building fluency so each book is read three times, with the same e-book then being allocated for reading at home after the third read. 

How do we assess phonic knowledge?

  • Children are assessed by the Reading Team half termly and placed into appropriate challenge groups. 
  • Any children assessed to be falling behind are immediately identified and tutoring sessions are put in place, utilising the Read Write Inc. virtual classroom when appropriate. Information is stored on the assessment trackers. 
  • The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term.
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.
  • Children who are in Y3-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed by the reading team and placed into Fresh Start challenge groups for intervention.