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The Mount Stewart
Schools Federation


At Mount Stewart Federation, the phonics program encompasses the Read Write Inc Rapid program for early learners and extends to the RWI Freshstart program for older children in Key Stage 2. This comprehensive approach ensures foundational phonics skills are established early on and continued support is provided for pupils who need further assistance in developing reading and writing proficiency. The emphasis on both early and continued phonics education through these programs is crucial for fostering reading fluency and a love for literacy.


Approach and Planning:

Focus on early reading and phonics, emphasising a high-quality, culturally literate education that prepares pupils for future societal roles.

  • Prioritise early reading and phonics for all pupils, regardless of background or ability.
  • Combine class/group teaching of phonics with exposure to high-quality texts and promotion of reading for pleasure.
  • Aim for cultural literacy and social competence in pupils through reading.


Teaching Strategies:

Employ systematic synthetic phonics programs, ensuring high-quality, consistent teaching across phases, with regular reading opportunities.

  • Use 'Read Write Inc' and 'Freshstart' interventions in KS2 for systematic synthetic phonics teaching.
  • Provide daily high-quality phonics lessons, prioritising phonics teaching.
  • Teach in whole class or phase groups for targeted learning, adapting to each pupil's pace.


Curriculum Intent:

Aim for pupils to master phonics for fluent reading and coherent writing, developing a habit of reading for pleasure and information.

  • Enable pupils to recognise, say, and write all phonemes and graphemes in each phase.
  • Develop pupils' habit of reading widely and often for pleasure and information.
  • Foster knowledge of various authors and illustrators, enhancing cultural literacy.



Implement a consistent, high-quality phonics teaching approach, integrating phonics across the curriculum and providing targeted interventions.

  • Appoint an Early Reading and Phonics Lead for standard monitoring.
  • Offer daily discrete high-quality phonics lessons, with a clear progression through the program.
  • Provide targeted interventions for pupils needing extra support.


Inclusivity and Support:

Ensure the curriculum meets all pupils' needs, with a focus on SEND and disadvantaged backgrounds, offering immediate additional practice and interventions.

  • Implement immediate additional practice for pupils not keeping pace.
  • Monitor pupils making the slowest progress and provide targeted interventions.



Strive for significant progress in phonics and reading, using half-termly assessments, internal monitoring, and ensuring most pupils read age-appropriate books by end of Year 1.

  • Conduct half-termly assessments to baseline all pupils.
  • Use internal monitoring like learning walks and lesson observations for quality assurance.
  • Aim for most pupils to read age-appropriate books by the end of Year 1.
  • Pupils will be able to blend and segment words confidently
  • Most pupils will pass the Phonics Screening Check
  • A culture where a secure knowledge of phonic sounds enables reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum


When students leave Mount Stewart they will:

Depart with a robust foundation in phonics, equipped for fluent reading and a lifelong love of reading.

  • Be confident in phonic knowledge, able to blend and segment words confidently.
  • Develop a love for reading through engaging phonics activities.




We are delighted to introduce our Early Reading and Phonics Lead, Ikram El-Azizi who is instrumental in developing and overseeing our comprehensive phonics and early reading strategies at Mount Stewart Federation.

RWI Phonics Parent Information Booklets

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter. Find more phonics help on Oxford Owl: Help your child learn to read with books and flashcards from Read with Oxford: What is Oxford Owl?