Phonics and Reading at Greetland
Teaching: At Greetland we use ‘Letters and Sounds’ as our Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme. This programme is followed with rigor and fidelity by all teachers and teaching assistants. Discrete whole-class phonics lessons are taught to all children, daily in Year’s 1, 2 and Reception. To ensure that learning is embedded, flashcards and reading opportunities continue throughout the day and additional phonics teaching is given to identified children. Phonics remains the main strategy that we use to approach/decode unfamiliar words and spelling across the school. We never use our children as an excuse and believe we can teach all children to read.
Reading: Before books are taken home, children take home Word Boxes. Children should be proficient independent blenders before books are taken home. Each child reads with an adult in school at least once a week. Those children working within the Letters and Sounds Phases have their reading books selected by the class teacher to match the sounds that they are currently working on or need to practice. This way the books become a focused tool to support progress.
Assessment: Individual phonics assessments are completed for all children working within Letters and Sounds Phases every half term. Teachers then use this information to support pupils in moving forwards. Continuous formative assessment is carried out during lessons and this is used to inform any same day intervention or catch up.
Intervention: Children who have been identified as ‘working below the required standard’ should have daily intervention until back on track. We continue to use Letters and Sounds structures and processes for intervention, no additional packages are used.
At The Greetland Academy we use comparative judgement to assess writing across the school. As a research school we ensure that research is at the heart of everything that we do and this process has been shown to be as reliable as double marking writing whilst also being much quicker. Comparative judgement is a process where judges compare two responses and decide which is better. Following repeated comparisons, the resulting data is statistically modelled and responses placed on a scale of relative quality. The results from the process are used to support our own teacher judgements.
Our school has contributed to and adopted the Elland Cluster Manifesto for writing that outlines the prerequisites of successful writing and the practices which enable pupils to become fluent, well-accomplished writers. Please find a copy of the most recent draft of the manifesto here.
Throughout the year writing opportunities are planned to inspire our pupils. Each year we do an extended Christmas based writing activity across the whole school to give writing a purpose. In 2018 we produced an ‘Elf Anthology’ to celebrate each year group’s inspiration following the arrival of a naughty elf in school! In 2019 a mystery visitor tried to stop Christmas happening until the children’s creative written responses and pleas persuaded the Grinch to leave the school in peace!