Case study: Newick Church of England Primary School, Lewes

Deputy Headteacher and English Lead, Amy Clarke, uses the Rocket Phonics Programme at her school.

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Newick School chose the Reading Planet Rocket Phonics scheme as we felt early reading is all about good quality reading books. The books are diverse, dyslexia-friendly and a combination of fiction, non-fiction and comics which were perfect for our children.

The scheme itself is robust and the quality of the planning demonstrates clear progression of skills, knowledge and application. For our school, we wanted a scheme that could be used in Key Stage 2 and not feel immature or ‘too young’ for our students. This was perfect.

I led a 15-minute presentation for the Local Authority at a phonics showcase meeting and presented alongside other teachers representing various schemes. We ended up having a Federation of three schools and a large local primary school come and visit to find out more about Rocket Phonics. Subsequently the Federation of three schools has bought into the programme.

The start of the year is always an ideal time to roll out a phonics programme. We began our journey in September 2021. The progress of teaching has developed at a rapid speed. Our teacher and SLT feel secure that the teaching happening across Early Years to Year 3 has clear rigour and excellent pace. The impact has been evident already in writing. The progress of our Early Years class in terms of writing and spelling is already visible. (March 2022)

We have invested in all the books including the colours of the Year 2 books. More recently, we have purchased a collection of Comic Street Kids books. I cannot recommend the books highly enough. We can finally be secure that our children are getting the exact reading books matched to and aligned to their learning and abilities.

Recently, we have received the Rocket Phonics Next Steps resources for Year 2. The termly overviews are fantastic! It is clear there is sufficient challenge and progression moving forward from Year 1 and the writing journals (Pupil Practice Booklets) enable the children to apply their phonics skills to writing which for most children is where the connection between phonics and writing can sometimes break down. We have also purchased the Year 2 books and the level of challenge is excellent for those more able readers. We are very much looking forward to embedding these resources properly next year.

The next part of our journey will be exploring more of the online resources.

To learn more about the Reading Planet Rocket Phonics Scheme, click here. 

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