“Once you have learned to read, you will be forever free.” Frederick Douglass
At Courtwood we want our children to have the tools to become independent learners, to be able to explore and discover, and follow their own interests, both in school and in the wider world. The discrete and systematic teaching of phonics gives children the ability to become autonomous in their learning, teaching them the foundations of reading and writing and giving them these essential skills. Courtwood children will be confident in their phonic and literacy skills, have high aspirations for themselves and others and will build their self-confidence to ensure they can achieve good outcomes in all curriculum areas.
We use the LCP Letters and Sounds scheme in line with the National Curriculum expectations for English. Phonics is taught daily in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, following the scheme that builds on prior learning. Each lesson gives time for children to revisit what they have learned previously, time to learn a new phoneme or an alternative way of spelling an already learnt phoneme, and most importantly, the time to apply their new knowledge both in reading and writing. Children are encouraged and supported throughout their day to use and apply their phonic knowledge in all other areas of the curriculum.
Teachers are skilled in recognising and supporting children to move through the phonics phases, allowing extra time where needed, and accelerating learning when appropriate. Phonics is embedded in the continuous, child led learning in Reception and the children are given many opportunities to transfer their knowledge and skills across a wide range of activities. Throughout their time in Reception and Key Stage 1, children will be expected to continuously retrieve knowledge they have previously learned, build on this and apply it in a wide range of contexts to read and write in a variety of ways. By the end of their time in Key Stage 1, phonics teaching will merge with spelling and grammar and this aspect will continue into Key Stage 2, so that the children can extend their knowledge and build on the strong foundations that have already been established.
The LCP Phonics scheme sets clear expectations for pupil’s progress. The assessment sheets used allow staff to track pupil’s progress and the data is transferred onto SIMS. This allows leaders to carry out data analysis and encourages discussions around pupil progress, group progress, future learning and misconceptions, enabling us to respond and adapt teaching within the scheme to provide additional support and challenge to pupils. Assessments are carried out three times a year. This informs intervention and support groups, and discussions during Pupil Progress meetings.
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