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Gilbert Colvin Primary School


Phonics at Gilbert Colvin Primary School

At Gilbert Colvin Primary School we have a committed to ensuring that all children become accomplished and enthused readers. To support them with this in their early stages of reading, we follow the Read Write Inc programme. This programme is systematic, consistent and progressive in its teaching approach and matches the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and the National Curriculum.

Children start Read Write Inc daily lessons in the summer term of Nursery.  They learn to recall the individual sounds that each letter of the alphabet makes. We ensure they say these sounds in their purest form. This skill is revisited at the start of Reception.  For each individual letter sound, the children are taught how to form the letter by using a mnemonic phrase. They are taught to read words containing two or more individual sounds by using ‘Fred Talk’ to blend the sounds to read the word.  

Each day, children practise reading words that they have learnt previously using a range of strategies to develop familiarity and instant recognition. Children are taught to use their fingers to identify the number of sounds in a word to support them with spelling. Our children progress with their phonic knowledge by learning about ‘Special Friend’ sounds (two or three letters together which make one sound). For example ay, oi and igh. The children are encouraged to identify if a word has a special friend sound and if so to state this aloud before then blending all of the sounds in the word.  

In order to ensure that children make good progress we regularly assess their reading to enable us to group them homogenously.  This ensures that all children receive phonics teaching that is specific to their needs. All groups of children are taught to read decodable storybooks that are specifically matched according to their current phonic knowledge. This allows children to confidently apply their phonic knowledge to become enthused readers with a great sense of achievement and success at being able to read. Following the Read Write Inc programme enables children to improve their accuracy, fluency and understanding of a text which they then can share with those that they live with at home.

Read Write Inc is also used by our school so to teach children about sentence composition.   This is delivered in a personalised way due to the way in which children are grouped. Writing activities relate to the storybook that children read during their phonic lesson so that they can draw upon key vocabulary to include it in purposeful writing activities. This engages and motivates the children to be ambitious and creative in their writing.

We have a driven team of trained staff who are committed to delivering high quality phonics lessons to all pupils with high expectations for pupil outcomes.