Phonics at Tower Hill


The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.  At Tower Hill Primary School, we have adopted the Read Write Inc. programme to give children the best possible start to their learning in Literacy.  This programme is designed to stimulate and challenge children’s thinking and create enthusiastic, life-long readers and writers. All staff at Tower Hill (teachers and LSAs) have received training from a Read Write Inc. trainer, or the RWI lead within school.

During Read Write Inc. sessions children will learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend these for reading and writing.  Read Write Inc. begins in Reception and finishes when children have completed all levels on the programme. Children who do not complete the RWI programme by the end of Year 2 will continue to receive support in KS2.

In Year 1 all children will complete a National Phonic Screening Check. This consists of the children reading 40 decodable real and nonsense words. Parents are informed at the end of the academic year as to whether their child has passed the test. Children who do not pass will re-sit  the following academic year. 

The children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 are taught Read Write Inc. each day and are grouped according to their reading level. Children are assessed on a half termly basis to ensure that progress is being made and they are working at the correct level. Having set groups allows for children to be taught at a level which challenges them and moves them quickly through the levels. All children take home a 'book bag book'. This is a reading book that is matched to their phonics level.