Systematic synthetic phonics
The alphabet consists of 26 letters
There are 44 sounds in the English language
There are over 150 spellings of those 44 sounds!
Students who have not been taught phonics, or have found phonics difficult when part of a mixed strategy approach, usually rely on memorising whole words or guessing strategies. These strategies fail as more complex texts are introduced. However, following intensive multi-sensory synthetic phonics instruction, these students are able to read and spell effectively as they master the code.
As mature readers, we employ a number of strategies to encode (read) and decode (spell). But no matter which strategy we use, without an understanding of the alphabetic code our literacy is held back.
Systematic Synthetic phonics teaching aims to give learners the tools they need to progress in a fun and fast paced style.
Pupils are taught:
to blend all-through-the-word for reading
to segment all-through-the-spoken-word for spelling
that spelling is the reverse of reading
to read words with tricky spellings by identifying the tricky part before blending
This systematic teaching gives pupils the essential key to the writing code,
and moves them a long way into improved reading by enabling them to recognise words by their common spelling patterns. It also greatly facilitates their independent writing by providing the basic rules for most regularly-spelt words.
Mrs M Meadows
Systematic synthetic phonics coordinator
Year 11 Study Skills
Year eleven is an extremely challenging time for our students as the reality of exams approaches. Here at Bishop Rawstorne we want our young people to realise their full potential, and aim to provide them with not only the best education but also the best tools to accomplish their goals.
Study skills is a bespoke six week course designed around the individual needs of the students.
The first lesson builds memory skills such as mind-mapping, mnemonics, imagery and colour. Thus, equipping students with an effective revision strategy.
The second lesson focuses on planning and organisational skills. This includes sources of help and support, along with time management techniques and resources.
The next four lessons are dictated by the needs of the students. As there are less than ten students in each group, support can now be tailored directly to meet the needs of the learners. Giving extra academic support in specific subjects or organisational support to ensure our students are as prepared as they can be for their future.
Extra Literacy Skills
With the many changes to the curriculum, English remains a challenging subject but importantly, a key one in terms of a stepping stone to further education and many career paths. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on literacy skills including: reading, writing and spelling.
With this in mind, the Year 11 literacy classes are taken for half an hour a week by the Curriculum Leader in English, who is also a marker for the exam board. Students will be taught key literacy skills as well as examination techniques and tips to give them the best possible advantage when they come to sit their GCSE English in the summer.
Throughout Y7-9 some students benefit from a mentor lead paired reading scheme which takes place once a week during tutor time. Students make their way to the library where they are met by an older student who acts as their reading tutor/mentor. Confidence and friendships are built by encouraging students to engage in reading in this way. The older student mentors help the younger students to select suitable books or to focus on the book they are already reading. Time is spent discussing storylines and characters as well as helping to improve fluency in reading aloud. Students then read on during the week so that they are able to return to their mentor the next week and continue their discussions.
As students move through the paired reading scheme they have opportunities to access a range of different reading materials. In Y10 students read independently in a small reading group of their peers. They look at news stories and discuss current affairs. They organise their reading session themselves with one student taking responsibility for guiding the group discussion each week.
E Hunt, Whole School Literacy Coordinator
Intervention in Upper School
Across Years 10 and 11 students are monitored closely in curriculum areas and any areas that underperformance is occurring students are picked up.
Mr Duckworth identifies students that are underperforming across the year, and a range of interventions are put in place. These range from daily 121 meetings to the development of study skills, parental interviews and intervention evenings.
As well performance some students are identified as they are perhaps struggling with the demands of the courses they are taking and they find that keeping up with an increased workload in Upper School can also be a challenge. These students are often assigned a mentor who will meet with them weekly to discuss progress and any concerns that may arise. Currently in Y11 we have 40 mentored students.
Mr A Duckworth