Phonics Partnership



A partnership from Hartlepool and Darlington schools and academies.

The Partners

Bishopton Redmarshall CE Primary School

Firthmoor Primary School

Gurney Pease Primary School

Mount Pleasant Primary School

Red Hall Primary School

Rift House Primary School

Rossmere Primary School




Objective 1.

Improving the quality of phonics teaching in the schools in the partnership. The lead school will work with partner schools within the partnerships to improve the quality of phonics teaching.


The partnership are seeking to improve the quality of teaching to raise the number of children exceeding the phonics check threshold to 100% through a total commitment to the systematic synthetic phonological programmes in the schools.


The core of the development programme is the lead school facilitating an intensive training programme to be delivered by external consultants. This development programme will target the least successful or knowledgeable staff, perhaps recent appointees, who do not have the detailed understanding of how phonics contributes to primarily the standard of reading but also beyond to all  literacy development and learning skills.


The development programme will include how to administer half termly assessments that are integrally linked to the synthetic phonics programme adopted by the partnership. Three schools will focus on the long term sustainable development by starting their development programme with reception children and three schools will focus on immediate impact with Year 1 children.


Prior to the final project meeting in March 2016, partners are unanimous in their desire to create a sustainable culture of teaching and learning phonics but acknowledge that the emphasis for this long term work needs not to be at Y1 but much earlier. Therefore the staff from the nurseries from each of the schools will work together to develop resources, and show good practice.


End of October Baseline data gathered

Training November 2015

First impact assessment February 2016

Predicted outcomes for June 2016   March 2016

Comparison between 2014/15 data and 2015/16 data June 2016

Comparison between end of Reception assessment 2105 and end of Reception assessment 2016 to measure the impact.


The impact of the teaching will be shared through the clusters of schools each attends.


The risks with the development programme are;

·     The earliest date the consultants can deliver training is the end of November. This will limit the time for measured impact.

·     Key staff – phonics leads, senior leader(s ) with responsibility for the programme leave the school or fall ill and no else is able to lead the programme.

·     Costs to implement the programme, the time to develop resources and funding to release staff are restricted.

·     Implementing the programme too quickly and creating ambiguity through inadequate preparation.

·     Impact in the first year of this programme may be limited but it will improve in the second and third years as the training, and action to improve early years.




Objective 2

Developing models of school-to-school support that are sustainable and replicable.  Partnerships are expected to develop models that can be continued beyond the funding period and have the potential to be adopted by other groups of schools.


The total commitment to teaching phonics with 100% success at the phonic checkpoint is communicated to neighbouring schools. The potential sharing of costs eg the partnership will train 45 staff for 2 full days at a total cost of £4500 or a tiny £100 person, the sharing of training costs means more staff can be trained for less.


The evidence gathered from the assessment will be used to demonstrate the impact of the phonics partnership approach. The assessments are a key feature and completed every half term. Monitored by the lead school.


The developmental work and networking completed by the partners and their nursery colleagues will be used the bedrock to the improvement in the phonics outcomes. These networks, lead by the lead school, will be opened to new members.


Risks are:

·     Clusters are unable to recognise the impact made

·     A reluctance by cluster schools to commit staff to one programme.

·     The partnership data isn’t conclusive immediately.



Objective 3


Measuring the impact of activity. The partnerships will assess the impact of their own activity and provide information to the Department at the beginning and end of the funding period.


The partnership have devised and agreed a common method for gathering and analysing the impact data in line with the timescales detailed in Annex H.


The data will be gathered and analysed by the lead school. The evaluation from the data will be shared with partners and DfE.


The data analysis will be available to all future groups and included as part of the sharing of systems with future groups.  The method used will be made available to all future partnerships. The gathered data will once again reinforce the key factors –the importance of a daily phonics session and a structured synthetic approach.


The risks:

·         The data doesn’t show impact soon enough for the timescales.



Objective 4


Sharing knowledge and information.  The partnership will share with the wider school population knowledge and resources resulting from the partnership’s work.


Senior officers within both Hartlepool and Darlington local authorities are aware of the project and have been instrumental in their support to form the partnership. They will also be key persons in assisting with the dissemination of the practice. Their local knowledge will help bring together future possible partnerships that will be able to consider and hopefully adopt the partnership model.


Many young children attend PVI settings and access to these setting managers, is more difficult for schools but hopefully the LA will be able facilitate access to managers and share the impact of the work from early years colleagues. The benefit of the networking, resources, learning and training can have a dramatic impact in the reception classes.


The concept of regular sessions, led by an informed well trained adult promoting daily phonics will be the key theme and the data gathered by the method outlined in Objective 3 will be used to support the impact that these two basic structures can have on attainment.



The data may not be available in 2015/16 because it will take time to work through the school.

PVI won’t buy into the training package.

Some resources will be commercially produced and will require PVI to invest in them and they may not be willing.