Phonics at Shawlands

At Shawlands Primary School, we are passionate about reading. We are determined to ensure that our children develop a life-long love of reading by being given the best possible start to their reading journey. To enable this, we follow the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, which is adapted to suit the needs of our pupils. The information below will give you an insight in to how phonics is taught at Shawlands and will help you to support your child’s reading at home.

If you have any further questions after reading the information on this page, please do not hesitate to contact our phonics leaders Miss Law (for EYFS phonics) and Mrs Butterwood (for KS1 phonics).

What does RWI look like at Shawlands Primary School?
From Nursery through to Year 2, all children are taught phonics in small groups. Phonics sessions happen first thing on a morning Monday-Thursday for 30 minutes. At the end of each half term, children are assessed to track and monitor their progress. From these assessments children are grouped into stages, where they work with peers on the same stage.

Below is a copy of the RWI speed sound chart. The chart displays all of the sounds that your child will learn through our phonics programme. We refer to this daily in our phonics teaching.

Phonics in the Foundation Stage
We teach phonics first thing on a morning as we find that this is the time when children are most focussed and engage best in their learning. We are passionate about ensuring all children have the opportunity to become confident and enthusiastic readers. We value reading and writing as a life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. Through a consistent and structured approach to phonics, pupils will acquire phonic knowledge and build on previous learning. They will apply this knowledge when reading carefully matched texts.

Most children in Nursery follow Letters and Sounds Phase 1 when they first come to our school, focussing on listening skills including listening for and distinguishing sounds in the environment. Initial letter sounds are introduced. The staff use ‘Fred Talk’ daily with the children, with the expectation that the children will begin to encode the words. Nursery staff have phonic flashcards to introduce the letter picture, a phonic frieze and a Fred the Frog toy.

In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:
• Environmental sounds
• Instrumental sounds
• Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
• Rhythm and rhyme
• alliteration
• Voice sounds
• Oral blending and segmenting (e.g. hearing that d-o-g makes ‘dog’)

Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include ‘listening’ walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy. This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.
Reception and Nursery children are taught in their registration groups for the first 5 weeks. There is then an assessment just before Autumn half term and children are then put into phonics groups according to the phonics phase they are working at meaning that we have groups of mixed ages. Miss Law, the EYFS phonics leader, assesses all EYFS children every half term and works closely with Mrs Butterwood to regroup all EYFS and Key Stage 1 children. Our children move around the EYFS and Key Stage 1 and get to know lots of staff members and children. We believe that this way of working is very beneficial to our children and allows our phonics groups to be smaller and more focussed.

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