St Joseph's School - A Catholic Voluntary Academy



Our School Definition for phonics is: 

Phonics - when we blend and segment sounds to read and write words

Intent Statement - Phonics 

At St Joseph’s School, we are Readers! We want our children to love reading and books! They will have no limits to their ambitions and have opportunities to grow up to be librarians, authors, screen writers, editors and teachers. Through our teaching of Phonics, we provide purposeful learning to explore, appreciate and understand the creative world of books, and how reading can help to develop skills across all areas of the curriculum. Pupils at St Joseph’s are able to explore the relationship between sounds, words and sentences to develop a secure knowledge of reading.

At St Joseph’s, we use the Read, Write Inc programme to build understanding of phonics sounds and to develop early reading skills. Children from nursery have access to phonics teaching in class and have the opportunity to practise these skills in provision across the Early Years. We intend for the Read, Write Inc programme to be accessible and successful for every reader in our school so we have adapted the scheme to meet the needs of the children at St Joseph’s.

Every child is supported to achieve one step progress in the progression of stages on the Read, Write Inc programme so that they will have completed the programme by the end of the autumn term in Year 2.


Implementation Statement - Phonics 

At St Joseph’s, Phonics is taught from Nursery to Year 2, with additional support for any children who are in need of Phonics provision in Key Stage Two.

  • Our Phonics curriculum is based around the Read, Write Inc programme; this has been adapted to suit the reading needs of the children at St Joseph’s and to match into our wider curriculum.
  • Read, Write Inc lessons take place for 10-15 minutes, daily for Nursery class children.
  • Read, Write Inc lessons take place for 30 minutes, 5 times a week for Reception class children.
  • Read, Write Inc lessons take place for 40 minutes, 5 times a week for Year 1 and Year 2 children.
  • Every six weeks the children who are accessing the Read, Write Inc programme are assessed using the Read, Write Inc assessments. From this, the Reading leader will determine whether a child has moved into the next group or not.
  • The progression of the children is tracked on an excel tracking system which shows the progress of each child through the programme.
  • Nursery class children are taught in 3 separate groups dependent on their phonic level; this is determined through observation and judgement from the Nursery staff. N1 children are taught the first initial set 1 sounds, and N2 children are progressed into learning how to orally blend the sounds together.
  • Reception class children are taught as a class for the first half term with differentiated tasks to challenge and support the pupils based on an initial baseline assessment. After this first half term, children who are becoming more secure in reading CVC words then join the Y1 and Y2 children in the 40 minute phonics sessions. Any children who are not yet at this level continue to receive their phonics teaching in class with the Reception class teacher.
  • Year 1 children work through the programme and have access to additional phonics support through interventions and hot-spots which are identified by the class teacher and the reading leader.
  • Y2 children continue to work on the Read, Write Inc programme throughout the autumn term or until they have completed the programme. From the spring term of Year 2, the class teacher and the reading leader identify children who have a secure phonic knowledge and have passed the phonics screening check. These children end the Read, Write Inc programme and begin Reciprocal Reading in class. (Please see our English Page).
  • Year 3 children who are still in need of support with their phonic knowledge, or who have not passed the phonics screening check, will continue to have access to Read, Write Inc lessons throughout the autumn term of Year 3. From the spring term, they will begin to access Reciprocal Reading in class and will have interventions for any phonics support they continue to need.
  • Children in Year 4-6 will have interventions and support to develop phonics skills. The Lexia reading programme is used to support children's phonics and reading skills to ensure they are able to access their class reading sessions.
  • During the Read, Write Inc lessons the children will work in partners to help them to build skills and support others with their reading.
  • We follow the 3 P’s for our Phonics lessons – Pace, Praise and Participation – ensuring that we help to build the confidence of all of our readers with pacey lessons that ensure the children are participating throughout.
  • Children will be taught new sounds based on their most recent assessment and will move through the set 1, 2 and 3 sounds speedily to give them the best chance of passing the Phonics Screening check in Year 1.
  • Children will have the opportunity to read in every Read, Write Inc lesson – this could be speed sounds, green words, red words or their Read, Write Inc book.
  • Comprehension is built into the lessons to ensure that we are supporting our children to become holistic readers, building an understanding of sentence structure, grammar skills, story language, settings, characters, plot and more.
  • The Reading leader will identify children after each assessment for further intervention and support (hots-spots) in phonics and reading. This will take place at least 2x weekly on a 1:1 basis, for 10 minutes.
  • The Teachers and TAs who deliver the Read, Write Inc programme have access to high quality resources, materials and support to ensure that they are confident and secure in delivering high quality phonics lessons to the children at St Joseph’s.
  • The Reading leader observes the different groups at least once per term to support and guide the Phonics teachers and ensure high quality Phonics lessons. The Phonics teachers are given feedback from these observations and any further support is offered quickly.
  • Any new staff are given full support and training to be confident in teaching Read, Write Inc. 
  • Written work from Phonics lessons will be evidenced in Read, Write Inc books. The written elements in Read, Write Inc lessons include ‘hold a sentence’, and ‘edit a sentence’.
  • At St Joseph's we closely analyse the progress of our children through phonics. Children identified as not making expected progress are noted on termly 'pupil progress reviews' as being focus children and recieve additional support in their group and through 'hotspot session' to help support progress. We also identify the children who are in the bottom 20% of their class for reading. This ensures we know the children who may need additional support for reading and who must remain a focus for us during each session.


Impact Statement – Phonics 

The impact of our Phonics teaching will ensure the children of St Joseph’s make progress from learning sounds and blending orally in nursery, beginning to read words and sentences in Reception, passing the Phonics Screening check in Year 1, and finally, to completing the Read, Write Inc programme and becoming competent and confident readers in Year 2. Our Phonics programme will lead the pupils of St Joseph’s to be enthusiastic readers; readers who want to read and access books independently. Our children will leave St Joseph's with a love of reading that will last throughout their lifetime.  


Scheme of Work and Progression Documents

The document below shows an outline of the Read, Write Inc Scheme. Class teachers use this document as a guide, but often, sounds are introduced earlier than the child's book colour to aid preparation for the phonics screening test.