The Teaching of Phonics
Pupils in KS3 needing additional support with decoding and reading are provided with targeted teaching of phonics. Specialist trained tutors lead daily sessions which aim to fill in any gaps from primary school: often students who have missed schooling, those new into the UK education system or those whose first language is not English. Those who read too slowly or struggle to read unfamiliar words cannot make sufficient progress at school.
At Bishop Milner we use the programme ‘Fresh Start’, which is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme for older readers who are struggling. Our resources are of high quality and age appropriate, exploring a range of textual material from contemporary fictional stories, to classics and Shakespeare’s plays, and they are all designed to supporting the fluency teaching embedded into all English lessons. Whilst students are constantly building on primary level phonics skills, they are only taught topics designed for their age level.
The programme is overseen by the SENDCo and Reading Leader, and staff teaching the programme receive regular specialist training and coaching to ensure its delivery is of high quality. Direct teaching in one to one tuition, paired and small groupings underpins the phonics teaching. All tutors of phonics are enthusiastic, well trained and committed to teaching students to read.