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Lower Darwen Primary School: We are proud of our school!
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Lower Darwen Primary School: We are proud of our school!

Assessment and other information about phonics


We strive to make our assessment purposeful - allowing us to match the correct level of work to the needs of the pupils, thus benefiting the pupils and ensuring progress.  It is the class teacher’s responsibility to keep track of progress made by all the children in their class, regardless of their phonic ability.  Each individual child has their own online phonics tracker which can be accessed and updated online.  The phonics tracker must be updated termly to ensure we are teaching at an appropriate level for the children.  It will also make staff aware of any gaps the children may have and to ensure we are challenging the higher ability children.

This assessment will be used alongside the children’s reading books to ensure the children have reading books that are accessible to them.  Target phonics books will be sent home to help children fill any gaps in their phonic knowledge. Assessments to be printed off and put in the reading file for easy access to this information.


Phonics Screening Test

All children in Year 1 will be screened using the National Assessment materials in Term 6, at the end of June.  If the children in Year 1 fail the screening test, they will be retested in Year 2.  This data is submitted to the local authority.


Special Educational Needs

Phonics teaching is made accessible to all children.  Adjustments to the Floppy Phonics scheme are made as and when needed for individual children.  It is the role of the teacher to ensure that every child in their class has equal and balanced access to the teaching of phonics. 

Where a child is making limited progress in phonics, parents will be informed alongside the SENCo and phonics manager.  Relevant actions are to be made to address the concerns and any intervention work will be closely monitored.


Visual Phonics for our hearing impaired children

Our EYFS and KS1 hearing impaired children are also taught ‘visual phonics’.  This is a hybrid of BSL finger-spelled alphabet letters and cued speech (used by speech and language therapists) and is taught in addition to the phonics actions used in mainstream to provide a visual aid and prompt. This helps with the production of speech sounds.

In visual phonics, each hand position indicates where a sound is made. For example, a hand placed in front of the neck indicates sound produced in the throat; a hand placed near the nose indicates a nasal sound. The handshapes indicate whether the sound is voiced (e.g. /g/) or unvoiced (e.g. /k/). Voiced sounds are indicated by a closed handshape and unvoiced sounds are indicated by an open handshape.

i.e. an open ‘c’ handshape in front of the throat indicates the /k/ sound; three fingers placed at the side of the nose indicates the /m/ sound.