New 2021 guidance has been released from the Department for Education regarding the teaching of reading and phonics. Schools must now teach systematic phonics using one scheme only because it is believed that fidelity to one scheme produces better outcomes. Schools have two years to adapt to this change. They must choose an approved scheme.
There are a selection of approved schemes already in existence, but as a school we would like to wait a little longer whilst more schemes are being published so we can make the best choice for our school going forward. It will be a significant investment but we are really excited about seeing what's out there!
In the mean time, out phonics lead, Lisa Musgrove has adapted all the our teaching resources so they follow an approved pattern of teaching phonics. She has based the sounds on the order that they are taught in 'Bug Club' which is one of the schemes we already have in school.
She has analysed all our existing books and also bought in new ones to ensure that pupils only have books which include the phonemes that pupils have already been taught. They have been carefully ordered and organised so all teachers and teaching assistants know how they system works. This means pupils are able to decode the books that they are taking home to read. She has created a numbered system and retrained staff in the teaching and delivery of phonics.
Our system is thorough and it picks up on the needs of pupils who also need to revise phonics as they move into Key Stage 2.
We have a great foundation for teaching phonics and will engage with parents and pupils as we decide which overall scheme we will choose to invest in over the coming year.