At St Mary’s we follow a comprehensive phonics programme that we have developed in line with the Read Write Inc (Ruth Miskin) programme. This is taught comprehensively as a daily diet from early Reception onwards throughout Key stage one to ensure that our children are successful and competent readers at an early stage. Our children are taught in small groups by fully trained staff, supervised by Miss Lucia Apicella who is our phonics co-ordinator. The children’s progress and attainment is assessed frequently to accelerate every child’s progress. Read Write Inc provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Teachers and teaching assistants are skilled at helping the children to apply their phonics skills in reading and writing across the curriculum. The phonics approach is taught and applied consistently throughout the school.
Reading is a real strength of the school as a result of this thorough and comprehensive approach to teaching phonics and literacy, and the sheer love of and value of literacy by our teaching staff. All children in Year 1 are able to read at least in accordance with the expectations of their age, with a high percentage exceeding this standard. We have reason to believe that this trend will continue throughout our school.
Phonics ability is measured in Year 1 nationally through a phonics screening check in the summer term. The children at St Mary’s are taught to approach this as part of their normal phonics learning, and take it in their stride. In the current year (2015) we are on target to exceed the national expectation (74%)
Our phonics and reading programmes are explained to parents in a workshop during their child’s first term at school; we invite parents to attend a brief seminar and then join in the classroom teaching session with their children to experience learning phonics fist hand. There are follow-up curriculum sessions in Year 1, and opportunities for parents to find out more as to how they can support their child at home. We are always pleased for parents to contact us to seek further advice as to helping their child with learning.