Meeting the needs of all our learners
At St Edmund’s, we believe that phonics is best supported when taught in a whole class setting with targeted support in ability groups. This enables the teaching to be targeted more accurately so every child receives the correct amount of support and challenge to ensure they blend words to begin reading as quickly as possible.
The ‘Phonic Reader’ books are fully decodable and match exactly the sounds and words each child is currently learning, to enable them to be successful and develop confidence to ‘see’ themselves as readers.
Reading comprehension is taught as a whole class and in mixed ability groups in Reception and Key Stage 1. The text is read to the children which enables them to fully focus on developing their understanding of the following aspects of reading: vocabulary, sequencing, retrieval, inference and prediction. As the children work together, under the guidance of the teacher, they are supported by the skills they all possess to share understanding and ideas. This in turn promotes learning and progress.
Children requiring extra support for phonics and reading are identified swiftly through rigorous assessment. Extra support is available through pre-teaching and overlearning with the aim of enabling them to make rapid progress to ‘keep up’. If progress is not made, extra intervention and specialist support will be investigated.
All children are stretched and challenged in phonics as they learn and recall new sounds and key words. Regarding reading comprehension, stretch and challenge occurs at every level as children are required to explain and reason their understanding of a text. They are also challenged to complete innovation tasks, as mentioned previously.
Early Reading for Older Children
Early reading is not just for younger children. Older children, still to master their reading skills and children newly arrived in the country, are supported through a programme of “catch up” phonics using the Little Wandle scheme. School has chosen to use school led tutoring to support these children.
Parents as Partners
Research has also repeatedly shown that parental involvement in their child’s schooling is a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education. We recognise and value the important role parents play in education as they know their child best. Consequently, we encourage parents to engage in an active partnership with the school.
Parents have the opportunity to attend phonics and reading workshops at school to gain further insight into how they are taught and how they can support their child. They receive a reading booklet, with information on supporting their child’s reading development at home in addition to questions to support the development of comprehension skills. Parents are expected to read with their children daily and their comments are welcomed in the home reading diaries.
At St Edmund’s, the impact will be seen through:
- Internal monitoring including learning walks, lesson observations, whole school, moderation, book and planning scrutiny. This will ensure teaching, learning and assessment is of high quality and consistent across the school.
- Pupils commenting on a love of reading throughout Reception and Key Stage 1 during pupil conferencing.
- External moderation of phonics and reading with schools within the Caritas Christi In Urbe partnership and local authority group moderation meetings. This provides an external quality assurance and validation of our teacher assessments.
- Our tracking and assessment system enables formative and summative assessment to be recorded. Leadership and class teachers analyse the data to review the attainment and progress of individual and key groups of children. Any children who are not on track to make expected progress are tracked during pupil progress meetings that are held each term following the assessment cycle.
- Rapid, effective support for children in danger of falling behind or those experiencing significant difficulty, to enable them to keep up.
The Phonics Screening Check in December 2020 for the Year 2 children (who were unable to be assessed in June 2020 because of Covid-19) established that 89.3% of children met the expected standard. This is 7% points higher than the national average published in June 2019 and represents a significant increase in school attainment from 72% in June 2019. In July 2022, Year 1 took the PSC and achieved 83%.