Phonics: where are we now and where are we going next?
2011 must have felt like the year of phonics for primary schools, and it seems set to continue with the first nationwide phonics screening check due to take place in June 2012. The new Ofsted framework also includes a particular emphasis on inspecting phonics teaching.
To support schools in the teaching of phonics, in April 2011 the government announced details of a match-funding programme of up to £3,000 for all schools in England with Key Stage 1 pupils.
This match-funding programme entitled schools to buy specially selected resources to support phonics teaching, as this Mumsnetter explains: "My head has committed to providing high-quality reading books and the government is offering matched funding pound for pound at the moment."
So, a school spending £500 on phonics resources would have this amount matched by the government, enabling it to get £1,000 worth of resources.
The catalogue of eligible phonics resources and training was sent to all qualifying schools in the autumn, and the match-funding offer runs until March 2013.
By the end of 2011, 16% of primary schools had begun to take advantage of the match-funding, although very few had spent up to the £3,000 limit.
To encourage more schools to take advantage of this offer, a second version of the catalogue is being produced. This updated version will include all the existing approved resources and training, plus additional resources that have been developed since the first catalogue was published.
For books to practise phonics at home, search 'Phonics Bug'
in the Amazon Book Store.