There is a strong move towards all subject staff in Secondary Schools being involved with the literacy progress of their students. OFSTED, in particular, will be expecting to see subject staff with an understanding of phonics in order to support their underachieving students. They will also expect subject teachers to be involved in on-going assessment and tracking of their students’ progress, in both reading and writing.

I am delighted to say that I have designed a computer-based scheme that will enable all subject teachers to support the literacy progress of their students effectively and easily.

There is currently a pilot study underway where subject staff access their topic keywords - linked to the phonics structure – with every student’s phonics stage alongside each word. Teachers will then know which students should be able to access specific text and which students need support. Phonics explanation for each of their topic words is easily accessible and understandable for the

m. Assessment and tracking, record keeping and feedback is all self explanatory and easy to deliver for every subject teacher in the whole school. This is all accessible via the internet.

Having been a teacher in a secondary school I am very aware that subject teachers devote their time to their students in terms of their subjects, but will feel that it is quite an imposition if they have to become involved in day to day phonic support for some of their students. However, it will be important that all staff do take responsibility and this computer-based scheme is the answer.

ALL Staff will be able to:

  • assess their students and identify where they are in the trugs phonics stages – five min exercise.
  • assess writing style, handwriting neatness, speed of writing and ability of sentence construction – ten min exercise.
  • access their topic words containing specific student information enabling them to support each individual simply by printing off the relevant sheet.
  • support each of their students as they progress through the trugs phonics stages, no specific training needed, everything is straightforward and easy to understand.
  • have subject specific keywords listed that detail students who are at a specific phonics stage
  • have information to hand that informs them about phonics.

This will then enable every subject teacher to support their students’ phonics. It will mean that students will receive support in reading in all their subjects and this will encourage them to progress. The English department will be able to monitor progress outside the department with collaboration from all staff. All record keeping and informing is straightforward and uncomplicated.

More details and information will become available as the pilot study progresses.

Please contact me Joanna Jeffery MBE, MA(Ed), AMBDA.

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