Discrete teaching of synthetic systematic phonics (SSP) happens daily at Abbot's Hall Primary School in Reception, Year 1 and for those pupils in older year groups who require ongoing phonics support. From January 2022, Abbot's Hall has selected Rocket Phonics as one of the DfE's approved SSP's to teach phonics.
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At Abbot's Hall Primary School we believe that all our children can become competent and fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Rocket Phonics, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Rocket Phonics Scheme, teaching through a whole class mastery approach, ensuring no child is left behind. Children learn at a steady pace and a progression of two letter-sounds per week are taught so that knowledge and skills are embedded from the start.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At Abbot's Hall Primary School, we embed the phonics in all reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- We teach whole class phonics for 30 minutes a day.
- Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins within the first few weeks of the Autumn term.
Daily Catch-up and Keep-up lessons ensure every child make progress from their own starting point
- Any child who needs additional practice have daily Keep-up or Catch up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- Rocket Phonics Follow on Scheme is used to teach continued phonics and spelling in Year 2 and 3.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Rocket Phonics Follow on assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the 'Follow on' resources – at pace.
- If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific phonics/reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 20 minutes and take place at least three times a week.
- Children’s individual phonetically plausible reading books are closely matched with their level of phonics instruction and reading ability, using the Rocket Phonics reading scheme. Parents are made aware of their child’s next steps in reading through their yellow logs. Class teachers monitor reading at home and school.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
- Assessment is used daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- At the end of each half term's unit of work assessment is used to check progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional catch up support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- SLT and subject leaders monitor the teaching and learning of Rocket Phonics, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
- Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Ongoing assessment for catch-up
- Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as through the half-termly Rocket Phonics summative assessments.