Our approach to teaching Phonics at West Meadows Primary School…

In FS1 (Nursery), we follow Phase One from the Letters and Sound Programme as this focuses on developing memory, sound discrimination and oracy (speaking) skills.
In FS2 (Reception) and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2), we follow the structure of Read Write Inc (RWI) to develop reading and writing skills.

The RWI programme teaches the letter/s-sound correspondences of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading, spelling and handwriting:

  • Systematic and structured with inbuilt rigorous revision to ensure the success of every child
  • Includes exciting story book characters ,with hundreds of colour pictures to engage children fully for the phonicsteaching & learning, vocabulary enrichment and language comprehension
  • Rigorous teaching sequence ensuring the phonics teaching & learning is straightforward, effective and allows for differentiation in simple, but effective, ways
  • Builds up knowledge of spelling word banks over time where words are spelt with the same letter/s-sound correspondences
  • Designed to inform parents/carers routinely and to work in partnership with them wherever possible

At the end of Year 1, most pupils undertake a Phonics Screening Check.

The national phonics screening check is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.

Your child will sit with the class teacher and will be asked to read 40 words aloud. The test normally takes a few minutes. If your child is struggling the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.

The check consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half nonsense words, the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have.

Non-words are important to include as they can’t be read using their vocabulary or from memory; they must use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess all children’s ability to decode.

We will inform you on your child’s progress towards the end of the Summer term. If your child found the test tricky we will inform you of what support we have put in place to help them improve and what you can do at home to help them as well. Children who have not met the standard will retake the check when they are in Year 2.

You will find more information on these websites:

Information For Parents