Phonics at Ryhall CE Academy has been a key focus for improvement in 2017-18 following two years of results below national. We wanted to ensure the children had a consistent learning journey throughout their primary school education with high standards of attainment and progress and for them to also gain lots of fun and enjoyment from it. As a result, 93% of Year 1 children undertaking the national Phonics Screening Test in June 2018 have achieved the expected standard.
We have created our own phonics program using a combination of the best systems around. We did this based on the resources we have in school and according to the strengths of our staff members.
We use fun rhymes and actions to learn the sounds required for children to develop the necessary skills for reading. These sounds are split into three sets and the children learn a set at a time at their own pace and according to their ability. Rhymes and actions are used to introduce each sound until the children learn to read the sound. The children then move onto reading the sound within a word before moving onto writing the word and using it within context.
The children also learn the common exception words for their year group during spelling and phonics sessions.
Phonics is taught every day for 20 minutes as a whole class session. We have found that teaching it as a whole class allows for the skills taught in these sessions to be more transferrable to other lessons. Teaching assistants and teachers lead phonics interventions for any children that need extra support or to catch up from a particular session or learning of a specific sound.
When the children reach Key Stage Two, if phonics sessions are still needed, they are taught by both teachers and teaching assistants alongside the spelling program.
At the beginning of the academic year we run 'Phonics for Parents' workshops - these are informal sessions which help parents and carers to give the right support to their child in reading at home. We hope you can join us.