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"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
— Frederick Douglass
At Emmaus it is our intention that every child will become successful, fluent readers who love literature and read for pleasure. The teaching of phonics is necessary for children to learn to read and spell. We intend for children to have the skills to be able to read fluently with understanding of what they have read. Reading and writing across the curriculum plays a key part in our curriculum intent and children will be encouraged and expected to apply their phonic knowledge in all curriculum areas.
The acquisition of reading skills is of the utmost importance to us here at Emmaus and therefore the teaching of phonics is given a high priority within school. Phonics is taught daily and phonic skills are modelled and reinforced throughout all areas of the curriculum by all members of the school team. In order for the children to become competent with reading and spelling it is integral that we ensure:
There is confidence that teaching the Read Write Inc programme will ensure success. We have the expectation that all children will attain or exceed expected standards. Teacher and school expectations are high for all children regardless of background, a ‘can-do’ ethos permeates all our teaching. We promote our Christian Values of Hope, Trust, Friendship and Love throughout our curriculum. The children apply these values to their learning experiences, supporting each other and embracing their learning. Expectations are high for all, including those who have SEN and/or disabilities and those who are disadvantaged. Knowledge and skills are constantly revisited and refreshed to ensure they become embedded. Achievements are celebrated and these celebrations are shared with parents to involve them in their child’s learning journey. We believe that a good home school partnership is vital to mastering these early reading skills. We strive to ensure that all parents are aware of the importance of phonics and know how to support their child at home with their reading and writing. Across the curriculum the children accumulate knowledge, behaviours, and skills that they can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence.
All children take part in high-quality phonics sessions. Through the teaching of Read Write Inc the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading and spelling. We have fidelity to the Read Write Inc programme. Phonics sessions include time for the teacher to teach directly, for all the children to participate by listening and responding, and by practising and applying what they are learning. In every lesson throughout EYFS and KS1 it is evident that the teaching team is emphasising how the children are expected to apply their phonic knowledge to help them to read and spell. The children take home decodable reading books that match their phonics knowledge. They are encouraged to read regularly at home.
At Emmaus we:
Teachers assess the pupil’s phonics knowledge at the start of the year and at the end of each half term. Phonic assessments are completed through formative and summative assessments. Assessments are analysed, all SEND, EAL and pupil premium children are identified and plans are implemented to break down any barriers to learning. Progress is closely monitored and interventions are adapted to meet individuals needs. Children who need extra help to keep up, are swiftly identified and additional support is provided to help them achieve their potential. The EYFS Profile measures attainment at the end of Reception and the Phonics Screening Test measures attainment at the end of Year 1. Children who do not pass will repeat it in Year 2. Children who need support to keep up in KS2 are identified and support is put in place. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are both measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.
Through parent meetings and workshops in EYFS and KS1 we aim to provide parents with the confidence and the tools to reinforce the child’s learning and have fun together learning to read and write at home. Teachers also share videos, and send home resources, games and activities. Parents are encouraged to practice recognising sounds, practice blending and segmenting words and learn by sight tricky words that are sent home.
Through a planned programme of assessment, monitoring and evaluation; teachers, the subject lead and senior leadership are able to determine the impact of our phonics curriculum. Our planning and interventions are adapted to help provide the best possible support and outcomes for all our children. We have a strong track record of ensuring that pupils make good progress from their starting points and fulfil their potential. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our phonics and reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. Regardless of background, ability or additional needs, by the time children leave Emmaus they will:
- have the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with a secure understanding of what they have read
- be enthusiastic and motivated readers who are confident and will enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and text types
- be inspired by literature and will read for pleasure.