"The School started working with the English Hub in September 2019 as a means of accessing high quality CPD and leadership support in relation to the teaching of phonics in our school. Prior to working with the hub, the school followed Letters and Sounds however, monitoring and evaluation by the new leadership team found that the teaching of phonics was in consistent and staff were not properly trained to deliver high quality systematic synthetic phonics training. The English Hub provided two services; one was to work with us to develop our current phonics teaching and the other was to support us in the implementation of a new systematic phonics teaching programme. After visiting Lacey Green to observe teaching of phonics, we were clear that, for our school, a new system for teaching phonics was needed. What struck us was the high quality of the delivery from all professionals during the visit. One of the most outstanding elements of the approach we observed was that we genuinely couldn’t distinguish between those member of staff who were teachers and those who were support staff. This was testament to the high quality CPD and rigour in the implementation of the program. As our school has practitioners who had varying levels of knowledge of how to teach phonics, we made the strategic decision to train all staff in Read Write Inc. so that they have the same baseline from which further work can continue and consistency in both the content, progression and delivery can be assured.
The English Hub provided a wealth of support in our implementation journey which extended far beyond the financial and into continuing CPD and high quality support from their literacy specialists who worked with our Early Reading Leader to ensure that we had the systems in place to facilitate ongoing CPD and support for staff. This has ensured that the principles of high quality systematic phonics teaching is embedded in school and, as a result, pupil outcomes are improving. Another testament to the program is that, despite period of learning being disrupted by lockdown, we found that very few (if any pupils) regressed in their phonics knowledge when they returned to school showing that this approach was able to ensure learning was embedded in our learners long term memory.
The new phonics scheme, coupled with the support provided by the English Hub has made our learners more fluent and confident in their reading and has secured their knowledge of decoding and comprehension in their development of Early reading skills which extend far beyond the just securing improved phonics screening check results. We were keen to ensure that any changes to our early reading scheme was not about just improving screening results but improved the children’s love of reading too. We feel that this program did that. However, in 2020, our learners attained our best ever phonics screening results which were 19% above the school’s 2019 percentage and 8% above the NA for 2020. The support of the English hub was essential in re-igniting our staff’s passion and knowledge for teaching phonics and ensuring that this process is embedded over time. We would highly recommend the English Hub to any school looking to improve the teaching of early reading and ensuring that every child is able to read fluently and develop the necessary skills they need to do this."
Headteacher, Cheshire East
"I just wanted to let you know that we have just completed our phonics assessment and 89% (16/18) of our Year 2 children passed the test! This is nearly 20% above our previous score and 9% above last year’s national average. Thank you for your ongoing support via the English Hub. It is wonderful."
"We both felt the time and effort that your brilliant team went to, provided an experience that far exceeded our expectations. We both look forward to working with you again soon".
"Thank you for a fabulous day, it was informative and thought provoking. The demonstrations were particularly helpful in phonics and the guided Reading".
Phonics Lead, Tameside
“I would like to thank all concerned for the day on Friday, because not only was it well-organised and full of useful information, but everyone from Lacey Green was very open to supporting those of us attending the course, readily offering advice and listening to our thoughts. This made the day extremely useful and enjoyable.”
Headteacher, Cheshire East
"Thank you for allowing us to attend your showcase on Friday. It was very useful and gave us lots of food for thought!"
Deputy Headteacher, St Helens