At Bluecoat Trent Academy we believe in the joy reading can offer and are passionate that all our learners have the tools to access our enriching curriculum. Therefore, we make the commitment to our students that they will be skilled readers by the time they leave us. In order to achieve this, they need to be able to read accurately, fluently, and decode texts. When students are struggling to do so, it is vital we offer early additional support and teaching.
One such way we do this is via our targeted Year 7 phonics intervention. We follow Read Write Inc: Fresh Start; a rapid intervention programme, designed to specifically accelerate secondary students’ reading progress. It is also part of the Department for Education’s approved list of providers. Fresh Start teaches students to read unfamiliar words accurately and, therefore, read texts with understanding.
Our phonics intervention takes place during four tutor times a week (25 minutes per session) and are led by staff trained in phonics. Students are placed in small groups, based on their reading ability, with a maximum number of six students per group. Within the sessions, students revisit key letter sounds, learn how to read and spell ‘tricky’ words, and practise reading and spelling at word and sentence level. Once students graduate from this programme, we know they will have become more confident readers and able to fully access the curriculum.