At our school we know how important it is for teachers and parents to work together to give your child the best start. Reading together at home is one of the simplest and most important ways in which you can help your child. To support your child in becoming an effective and confident reader we hope to work with you on the first step which is to develop their knowledge of phonics and enable them to decode the different words they may come across.
We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme which is delivered through six phases of phonic teaching (see below for more details). Qualified teachers assess children regularly to determine which phase matches their stage of reading development and all children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are placed into small groups which suit their needs regardless of their age or year group. Children receive five sessions of 15 minutes focussed phonics teaching every week. The progress of all children is reviewed frequently and individuals are accelerated through the programme or offered additional intervention as required.
Phase 1: Children explore and experiment with sounds, they learn to differentiate between sounds and become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration (this will start from birth through to nursery and EYFS).
Phase 2: To introduce grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondence (this normally starts in nursery or EYFS). Children learn that words are constructed from phonemes and that phonemes are represented by graphemes. They have a knowledge of a small selection of common consonants (C) and vowels (V), thye start with s, a, t, p, i, n and begin to put these letters together to read and spell CVC words.
Phase 3: Children are taught that there is one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes which will enable them to read and spell simple regular words. Most children will work at this stage in EYFS. Children link sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet. They hear and say sounds in the order they occur in the word and read simple words by blending the phonemes from left to right. They recognise common digraphs (e.g. th) and they read some high frequency words.
Phase 4: Children learn to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants, they learn to segment and blend adjacent consonants in words and apply this skill when reading and spelling. Children will move from CVC words (pot, sheep) to CVCC words (pots) and CCVC words (spot) and then CCVCC words (spots).
Phase 5: Children are taught to recognise and use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes and spelling the phonemes already taught (most children will learn this during Year 1). Children will use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes (e.g. the ‘c’ in coat and city). Children are taught to recognise an increasing number of high frequency words automatically although their knowledge and skills gained through understanding phonics will be the prime approach to reading and spelling.
Phase 6: Children will develop their skills and fluency in reading and spelling, creating an increasing capacity to read for meaning. Children will apply their phonic knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of complex words. They will read an increasing number of high and medium frequency words independently and automatically.
Children complete a national Phonics' Screen Check' in June of Year 1.
Please look out for our phonics workshops when parents will have the opportunity to find out more about our phonics teaching and the year 1 screening check.