Phonics and Reading:
We are currently reviewing our phonics scheme. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. We also use arange of published schemes to support phonics teaching and learning including Jolly Phonics and Phonics Bug.
For further information or to access free resources and games to help your child at home, visit www.letters-and-sounds.com
All children begin their Phonics education in the Reception Class by working through the Phase 2 sounds.
When children have reached the end of Stage 5 they begin to look at different ways of writing each sound.
The children are regularly assessed to check their progress and extra support is provided for those who need extra practice.Each week, Phases 2 - 5 concentrate on a particular sound (phoneme) or written spelling pattern (grapheme). Your child is encouraged to use these technical terms to talk about their learning in phonics and spelling. Tricky words are words that do not follow a pattern and are learned discreetly.
Below is a useful guide to parents regarding phonics:
Children begin reading Phonics Bug and Jolly Phonics books in the Reception Class as soon as they can recognise the first set of sounds in phonics. These books are matched to children’s phonic ability and reading these books supports the development of the children’s skills in learning to decode and blend words.
Alongside this the children work in class on learning tricky words and as soon as they can recognise the first set on sight they are also given an Oxford Reading Tree story to read as well as the Phonics Bug book.
Children progress through the remainder of their time in Reception, Year One and Year Two working through our structured reading books (including the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme and the Phonics Bug scheme) until they are ready to move onto free choice colour-banded books. They take their books to read at home and this is monitored weekly in class. Guided Reading also takes place in class, usually on a wekkly basis, to teach reading strategies and comprehension skills.
Throughout this process the children are assessed on a regular basis to check their reading ability and to ensure that they are reading the correct stage of books for their ability.
Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check in which children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents and school governors. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the permission of their parent/carer.
This phase begins with children being introduced to individual letters and their sounds; sets of letters are taught each week in the sequence advised by the Letters and Sounds programme. As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children are encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words (eg. s-a-t ). They will also learn to segment the words (eg. upon hearing the word tap, the child can work out which letter sounds make up the word). Children focus on CVC words (consonant - vowel - consonant).
Over the course of phase 3, 25 new graphemes (letter patterns) are introduced. Children also learn the letter names and will continue to decode words using sounds. Children are also introduced to tricky words - words that are common that do not follow a spelling pattern. These words are always in bold on the schedule below and the children should learn how to spell these words in preparation for their spelling test on a Friday morning.
In this phase, children concentrate on adjacent clusters of letters using consonants (eg. pl-, st- or -ng, -nt). We refer to the consonant as C and the vowel as V and children look to combine these in both the reading and spelling of such words. Words like tramp show a CCVCC spelling pattern; snow shows a CCVC pattern and bent uses a CVCC pattern. Compound words are also introduced in this phase; these are two single words when put together make a new word eg. snowball, desktop.
Phase 5 has been split into two parts (i and ii) as this phase covers a lot of learning and shows the children alternative ways to spell the sounds they have previously learned. For example, children have been taught to spell the ay sound previously, but in this phase, will learn that the same sound can combine the graphemes (letters) ai, a_e (we refer to this is a split digraph), a etc. All the alternative vowel sounds are covered in Phase 5i. When children are secure with these patterns, they will move to Phase 5ii where they learn other alternative spellings such as -/dge/ making a j sound.
Bounce Back Phonics
Bounce Back Phonics is a catch up phonics programme for groups of children in Year 2, 3 or 4 who may have missed or not fully understood some of the phonics teaching in the Early Years. It is based on Letters and Sounds, which is the phonics programme we use in school.
The units of work are useful for children who are experiencing difficulties with:
- blending phonemes for reading and segmenting for spelling;
- selecting the correct spelling for long vowel phonemes;
- reading and spelling longer words containing adjacent consonants.
Children will take part in 3 lessons a week. The lessons are lively, exciting and full of fun. The length of the programme will depend on the outcomes of an initial assessment.
New Fast Track Phase
Fast Track Phonics follows a programme that has been devised by the Lancashire Literacy Team. This new phase is aimed at closing the gap with regards to reading and spelling. Most pupils who follow the daily phonics process will reach the expected level of understanding by the end of KS1. However, for those pupils who require further practise, in order to acquire these skills, a phonics catch up programme may be required. The Fast track programme is designed to address gaps in learning. The activities within the new phase are short, snappy and fun with an emphasis on quickly reviewing previous sound patterns from all the other phases.
Fast Track Phase
Autumn First Half Term
Phonics Guidance for Parents