The children joining us in reception typically have comparatively low starting points in terms of literacy, communication and language and, often, lack the phonological awareness we’d expect to see when they start school. Around half of the reception children who join us come from our school nursery, the other half come from other nursery providers in the area. The Chantry area of Ipswich, our catchment area, serves a predominantly disadvantaged community. Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) data for our school shows a predominantly low socio-economic and financially poor background for the families we serve – between decile 1 and 3 on the index, where 1 is the most deprived. Our reception intake also typically includes a significant proportion of children for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL), currently approx. 25%.
We were keen, therefore, to find anything which helps children make progress in reception and into KS1. We chose to invest in Fast Phonics; one the newest and most innovative approaches to phonics support and intervention, which is aligned to the Department for Education’s Letters and Sounds programme.