Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language."
National Literacy Trust
Here at Thomas's Academy children develop their reading and writing skills through a phonics scheme called 'Read Write Inc'. Children are taught through systematic and structured daily phonics sessions, whereby they are exposed to new sounds, words containing the sounds and practise reading, writing and handwriting.
In Nursery, children have regular phonics sessions and begin exploring important concepts such as rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, sound discrimination and oral blending and segmenting. When children are ready, they are introduced to the Nursery Read Write Inc sessions which are more structured and focus on specific sounds like 'ssss' (s) and 'aah' (a). The Read Write Inc Phonics Scheme formally begins in Reception and daily sessions take place and continue throughout Key Stage 1.
Pupils are taught by ‘stage not age’, meaning children are grouped and taught according to their reading level. Pupils are assessed at the end of each half term by their class teacher. The phonics groups are reorganised each half term by the Phonics Leader to ensure pupils are taught content they need and are able to make accelerated progress in their Reading and Phonics. Pupils who are working below age expectation, continue attending Phonics sessions or have 1:1 tutoring with an experienced adult.
At Thomas's Academy we are keen to promote a love of reading in all children. Therefore reading in and outside of school is considered very important for children's development. Children take home 'Read Write Inc' phonics books, appropriate to their phonics level, alongside a levelled Reading Book for children to apply their phonics knowledge and a Reading for Pleasure book that Parents and Carers can enjoy with their child. We support children's reading in school as part of our phonics sessions and with frequent one to one reading sessions with adults. We expect parents to support their children's reading progress at home by reading with their child each day and commenting in their Reading Record. Parents and Carers can attend Phonics Workshops run annually to find out more about Phonics at Thomas's Academy and ways in which they can support their children's phonics development at home.