PHONICS

Letters and Sounds

Intent

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at out school. We INSPIRE all children to ACHIEVE, by providing them with opportunities to become confident and enthusiastic readers which allows them to access learning throughout the curriculum.

We want all children to love reading – EXPLORE and DISCOVER books for themselves. As well as inspiring children to learn how to read, we are enthusiastic about promoting a love for reading at our school.

'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.' - Dr Seuss

 

Aims:

  • Raise standards by providing all children with a systematic and synthetic approach to teaching phonics which ensures all children ACHIEVE.
  • To teach children how to orally blend spoken sounds to pronounce words.
  • To read words by ‘finding the sounds, sound talking and blending’.
  • To write words by segmenting to spell.
  • To identify children who need extra support and provide extra practise to enable them to keep up.
  • Ensure you all, as parents / carers receive regular updates and access to workshops so that you can support your child at home.
  • Work with the Jerry Clay English Hub, receiving half termly support from a literacy specialist and training for our phonics lead and wider staff team.

Implementation

Our school follows the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Children in Reception and Year 1 have daily phonics sessions, taught in a morning immediately after the register. Phonics teaching in Reception begins as soon as all the children have joined school, in Week 3.

  • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
  • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.

Phonics sessions follow the structure of:

Revisit and Review – Children have the opportunity to re-cap sounds (GCPs) that have already been taught to them. They will then have the opportunity to practise reading words containing familiar sounds. The children also practise reading what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘my’, ‘have’, ‘said’ and ‘where’.

Teach and Practise – The new sound of the day is explicitly taught. The new sound of the day will be taught and children will have the opportunity to practise orally segmenting and blending words alongside reading words containing the sound. Examples and definitions of some of the words in a sentence are shared with children to further support and build their understanding of new words. A new tricky word will then be introduced and children will practise reading the word. 

Practise and Apply – The children are given the opportunity to practise using the new sound, by reading words/sentences containing this sound. The children will then further apply this sound by writing words containing the sound of the day and a previously taught tricky word.

 

Reading Sessions

Children are given regular opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned to reading fully decodable books (Collins Big Cats). The children practise reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know, in line with Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression map. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 take part in three reading sessions a week, Tuesday – Thursday. Each session has a clear focus and have been designed on three key reading skills:

  • Decoding
  • Prosody – reading with meaning, stress and intonation
  • Comprehension – understanding the text.

On a Thursday, children will bring home the book they have been reading at school. This is a time to celebrate reading success with your child and share a love of reading together. Support your child’s reading at home and help them take part in our class reading challenge and become the reader of the week. Please follow the traffic light system in place and read and record in your child’s reading record book. Aim for green! Each week, a child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will be chosen to take home the story suitcase.

 

Phonics in the classroom

There will be consistent phonics displays across the classrooms. Each classroom will display tricky words and all the sounds which are taught in that year group. Phonics working walls display the ‘sound of the day’ and will be added to throughout the week with new GCPs and words containing those sounds. Resources from Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised will be also available including GCP flash cards, word cards and other resources to support with writing such as word clouds, letter formation and alphabet mats. Each classroom will have a well organised reading area to promote a love for reading. Phonics books will also be displayed in this area to provide children with a further opportunity to read independently the sounds taught in phonics. In Reception and Year 1, children will use a Voting Station to choose a book for story time.

 

Interventions in phonics

Keep-up sessions ensure every child learns to read. Class teachers identify children who require additional support, using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify gaps in phonics knowledge. Keep-up sessions use the same resources and match the structure of class teaching, but in smaller steps and more repetition to ensure all children can achieve success. All phonics interventions are led by staff who are fully trained in our systematic synthetic phonics programme.

Daily phonics lessons are timetabled for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. The Rapid Catch-Up programme is used to ensure children fill gaps in their phonics knowledge and secure their learning.

 

Impact

Assessment of phonics

Phonics assessments will take place to assess knowledge of the sounds that have been taught throughout the focused phase. It will also assess children’s decoding skills as they read unfamiliar words by applying their phonics or familiar words accurately. From the assessments, class teachers will identify the children who require further support and they will be provided with a targeted intervention. Daily assessment through the ‘speedy sounds’ using flash cards will also take place by the class teacher and teaching assistants. The phonics leader will oversee the assessment of phonics and will analyse data and will monitor the impact of interventions.

Phonics screening check

The phonics screening check is an assessment for children in Year One which takes place during the final summer term. The check assesses the children’s ability to segment and blend words effectively by reading a series of real and non-words (‘alien words’). The check takes place one to one with the child and their class teacher. Results are submitted and parents are informed whether their child has met the required standard or not. Any child who does not meet the required standard in Year One will have the opportunity to re-take the check the following year during Year Two.