phonics teaching at rab

At RA Butler School every child in Reception, Year 1 and 2 takes part in daily high-quality phonic sessions with their class teacher.  

We use the RAB Phonics Way which is a systematic synthetic phonics programme with fidelity.  Our teaching of phonics is focussed on empowering children as young readers and writers and thus phonics teaching and learning should be a highly positive and successful process for all.  To achieve this, we ensure lessons are engaging, purposeful and interactive.   

Phonic sessions are whole class sessions, differentiated to ensure all children are effectively supported and challenged to develop their reading and writing skills.  All children are exposed to the age-related content as identified by the National Curriculum (in the revisit and review and teach section of the session).  This is followed by differentiated opportunities for children to practice and apply learning at an appropriate level, based upon effective assessment.  

Phonics sessions are engaging, interactive and multisensory, with children being ‘active’ participants in the learning for the majority of the session.  This is achieved through use of active learning structures, carefully chosen phonics games, and strategic use of resources to ensure children are busy reading (blending) and writing (segmenting) following clear adult models.  Wherever appropriate, additional language is removed from adult modelling to reduce the cognitive load and focus on phonics and a context is provided for reading and writing. 

Each lesson follows the four-part teaching sequence: 

  • Revisit/Review 

  • Teach 

  • Practice 

  • Apply 

One day a week will focus on the teaching of new tricky words and will include an extended written application of the week’s learning. 

Although phonic lessons follow the four-part structure, in the very initial stages of the children’s phonics learning (approximately weeks 1-3) in the Early Years, the content of the different lesson parts varies slightly from the one adhered to once blending has begun to be established. At this early stage many children need to secure oral blending as well as grapheme recognition and formation in preparation for reading and spelling words. 

The following structure is typical during early phonics sessions:  

  • Review and Revisit:  Phase 1 games and activities; Oral blending; Recall of graphemes taught; Quick write of graphemes taught 

  • Teaching: New grapheme – hear, say, see, write;  

  • Teach and Practise: Oral blending- leading to assisted blending; Oral segmenting  

  • Application: Application at is word level e.g. assisted blending/ independent blending, segmenting using magnetic letters/writing.