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The Rissington School
Aspire - Belong - Challenge

01451 820857


 At The Rissington school, we use a systematic phonics programme called Success For All Phonics. Each teaching phase builds on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘Green (decodable) and Red (sometimes known as tricky) words’.

The programme is designed for daily use from the beginning of Reception, enabling children to make smooth transition from Reception to Key Stage 1.  At The Rissington School, we also focus on developing phonological awareness in our Pre-School.

Please do take time to access our Parent Portal for lots of information about our programme and how you can further support your child at home: https://parents.fft.org.uk  please ask your class teacher for the passcode

Daily lessons in Success for All Phonics cover GPC's (grapheme-phoneme correspondence)

The individual speech sounds that make up words are called phonemes.  The individual letters or groups of letters that represent the individual speech sounds are called graphemes.  It is the understanding of how graphemes map to phonemes that is essential to reading or "decoding" words efficiently.  A glossary of phonics terms can be found here.

Success for All Phonics is systematic in its approach; it is sequences and progressive.  Progression is built into the programme and skills are taught at each phase:

Phase 1 (EYFS)

Phase 1 of the programme is taught in our Chipmunks, which is our Pre school setting.  Phase 1 focuses on developing phonological awareness by teaching children sound discrimination, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting. Phase 1 also focuses on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2.

Phase 2:  (Reception term 1)

In Phase 2, children learn short sound GPCs and use these to read CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words.  (An example of this would be s-a-t).  A small number of common exception words (CEWs) are introduced in phase 2 (an example of a common exception word would be 'the';) in our shared readers and children also practise writing new and previously learnt GPCs in both upper and lower case letters.

Phrase 3 (Reception terms 2-3)

In Phase 3 children learn long vowel digraphs (a grapheme that comprises two letters eg. ck) and read CCVC (consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant words eg. shut) and CVCC words (eg. milk).  Children are introduced to two syllable words.  It is during phase 3 that we introduce spelling and sentence writing and common alternative spellings/pronunciations are introduced.

Phase 4 (Reception term 3)

Phase 4 focuses on reviewing and consolidating all reception level content in preparation for year 1.  Decoding skills are applied to more challenging word structures.

Phase 5 (Year 1 Terms 1-3)

Phase 5  begins in Year 1 and teaches remaining long vowels and split diagraphs (eg. like)  Children learn new graphemes (different ways of spelling each sound) and alternative pronunciations for these: for example, learning that the grapheme ‘ow’ makes a different sound in ‘snow’ and ‘cow’.  They will choose the correct graphemes when spelling, and will learn more red (not fully decodable) words, including ‘beautiful,’ ‘everybody’ and ‘pretty’.  In this phase the children also learn to read nonsense words.

By the end of Year 1, children will be able to:

  • Say the sound for any grapheme they are shown
  • Write the common graphemes for any given sound (e.g. ‘e,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ie,’ ‘ea’)
  • Use their phonics knowledge to read and spell unfamiliar words of up to three syllables
  • Read all of the 100 high frequency words, and be able to spell most of them
  • Word endings (cious, tion)
  • Homophones 
  • Form all letters correctly

At the end of Year 1, all children will take part in the statutory Phonics Screening Check to ensure they have mastered the appropriate knowledge.  More information about the Phonics screening check can be found here.

Phase 6 (Year 1 - Term 3)

Phase 6 provides lessons to consolidate spelling skills and includes less common grapheme/phoneme correspondence. 

Although formal phonics teaching is usually complete by the end of Year 2, children continue to use their phonic knowledge as they move up the school. 
Much of the teaching of reading at The Rissington School is through, co-operative learning.  This is where the children work with other children and ensures that everyone in the class participates in the lesson.  The children help one another to work out how to say words and to understand what they are reading, to read fluently and to write accurately.
Shared Reader Lessons
So that the children are able to apply their phonics knowledge to the skill of reading, the children work with partners to read their "Shared Reader".  These are aligned to the phonics lessons and allow children to practise reading the new and recently taught GPCs as well as the common exception words to which they have been introduced.  From the start of reception to the end of year 1, the children will read 68 decodable reading books.  Each of these shared readers are designed to be read over 5 days.
There are 12 assessment points in Reception and Year 1 (one per half term).  The assessment covers four areas:  knowledge of GPCs, word decoding, reading fluency, comprehension.  Children who are at risk of falling behind are supported quickly with intervention and catch up groups to fill in any gaps and get them back on track.
Tutoring with the Lightning Squad is our online platform that supports those pupils who have not passed their phonics screening check at the end of year 1 and who need targeted intervention to support them along their reading journey to become fluent decoders, improved spelling and comprehension skills, in order that every child at The Rissington School becomes a reader.

phonics at a glance the rissington school.pdf