At Goosewell, phonics is taught across Reception and KS1 as well as in intervention sessions across lower KS2. In Reception and KS1, we do this using the RWI approach. This is a scheme developed by Ruth Miskin, which provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching Literacy. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. We teach in this way because, research shows that, when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.


Across Reception and KS1, children have daily phonics lessons which they enjoy. Each hour long session is broken up into different parts including: revision of previous sounds taught, teaching of a new sound, reading words with the new sound and writing them. Children will then be encouraged and supported to not only develop their decoding skills but also their comprehension and fluency skills through reading of the RWI colour phonics books. The children can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment. 


At Goosewell, we realise the importance of Phonics as it provides children with the building blocks needed to become successful readers. They are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words they see or hear. 

We continue to develop the children’s phonic knowledge through the progression within the RWI scheme. The children learn set 1, 2 and 3 sounds, which enable them to read and write a range of words. Children learn different representations of a sound (‘graphemes’) for example ay, ai, a-e. This enables children to become more confident with not only their reading, but also spelling and this develops skills, which are then transferrable to their English learning. In Reception and Year 1, there is a greater emphasis on the reading of the sounds, whereas in Year 2 this progresses by using the different graphemes more in spelling. 


Phonics is embedded across our curriculum and the children are encouraged to use phonics to support them in a range of cross-curricular learning. Phonics posters are displayed in Reception and KS1 classrooms and the children are encouraged to use these to support their writing in all lessons across the curriculum.

Our children are streamed for daily RWI sessions across Reception and KS1 and during this time we use RWI phonic based reading books. The children then take these same books home. This ensures that there is consistency between our phonics and reading sessions and that children apply their new phonics knowledge to reading books, giving them a purpose and a sense of achievement. 


Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are assessed using the RWI assessments tests at the end of each term. The test identifies the children’s progress so far. In addition to this, children in Year 1 are also assessed using a Phonics Screening Check. These regular assessments, enable us to stream the children for RWI phonic lessons as well as running 1:1/small group sessions for our lowest 20% of children, ensuring the teaching they receive is tailored to the exact level they are at. The final Year 1 phonics test takes place in June. The check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learned sufficient words – it is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo (nonsense/alien) words for the children to read 1:1 with their teacher. Children who do not pass this in Year 1 will be re-assessed in Year 2, in the same manner. The results of this are reported to parents in the summer. 


Throughout the year, we invite parents to phonics workshops and training sessions, which support them in listening to their children read and encouraging their child’s development of phonics. The reading books that the children take home are those that they read in their RWI phonics sessions. Books are changed once or twice weekly depending on the complexity of the text. Children are encouraged to read the book at least three times, to help develop their fluency, expression and confidence. We provide parents with paper copies of information on how best to support their child with their phonics and reading journey.