Reading & Phonics

Overview of Reading

Reading and writing are taught using a synthetic phonics programme in EYFS and KS1 and also where additional support is required during KS2.  To ensure that children are confident in applying their phonic skills, literacy lessons across the whole school begin with a five minute focus on phonics. In EYFS and KS1 pupils are taught to read and write using a synthetic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds. The children are also taught actions from the Jolly Phonics scheme to help them to remember the sounds. 

During Reception the children consolidate their learning of Letters and Sounds phase 1 and learn phase 2 to 4.  In Y1 they learn phase 5 and in Y2 they learn phase 6.  Teaching of Letters and Sounds is fast-paced with children learning four new sounds a week in Reception to ensure that they can use their skills to experience success in reading and writing from the very beginning. 

During Y1, all children participate in a national phonics screening which checks their knowledge and application of phonics.  The phonics screening check is a short and simple assessment of phonic decoding. It consists of a list of 40 words, half real words and half non-words, which Year 1 children read to a teacher. Administering the assessment usually takes between four and nine minutes per child. The check is designed to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard and have grasped the essential skills that underpin good reading. 

Pupils who have not reached this standard at the end of Year 1 receive extra support to ensure they can improve their phonic decoding skills. They will then have the opportunity to retake the screening check in Year 2.

We want every child in our school to develop a love of reading.  Our pupils follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.  During the Reception Year, children read with an adult individually at least once a week to give them the opportunity to practise their phonics skills.  During Key Stage 1 and 2, regular guided or shared reading sessions develop pupils reading and comprehension skills.  Books are carefully selected to ensure the child will be able to make progress and maintain engagement.

Phonics

We teach phonics following the Letters and Sounds programme.  We hold an annual 'Bears and Books' evening for Reception parents and carers where we spend time with parents explaining how we deliver phonics.

Phase Related Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1) Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond) Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Below you can see video links to the articulation of phonemes, how synthetic phonics works and a link to a website called Phonics Play which we use to support teaching.

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