Frequently asked questions

Phonics Phases

Our phonics curriculum takes children through six Phases, with children typically moving through Phases 2-3 during Reception, and then onto Phase 4, 5 and 6 throughout Year 1 and 2. With lots of repetition and weekly development of skills, we find that we are able to really build confidence and challenge children at an appropriate level. Phase 1 - The focus is on listening and making sounds with mouths and bodies—e.g. environmental sounds, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and early letter recognition. Phase 2 - Each week, children learn single letters and their corresponding sounds in a useful order (e.g. SATPIN) so that they can begin to blend and segment short words. Phase 3 - Phase 3 introduces ‘friendly letters’ letters (where two letters make one sound, e.g. ai, oa, sh). Skills in blending and segmenting are further developed. Phase 4 - This phase is an opportunity to recap all Phase 2/3 sounds in a range of contexts. Children begin to read and write 2-syllable words and words where two sounds are close together (e.g. s-l-i-p / p-l-ay / f-r-igh-t). Phase 5 - Phase 5 tackles the complexities of spelling in English and teaches children to explore alternative spellings and pronunciations for all sounds (e.g. all different spellings of /ay/). They will learn how to apply a ‘best bet’ rule (e.g. /oi/ in the middle, /oy/ at the end) and will begin reading and talking about suffixes. Phase 6 - Children begin to tackle grammatical rules for the spellings when writing tenses, adding suffixes and prefixes, contractions and strategies for spelling tricky words. The children are taught in streamed groups depending upon their needs, and each session goes through a Revisit – Teach – Practise – Apply format so the children are able to consolidate their learning in a pacey, engaging style. Children are closely monitored to assess their learning and they are also assessed termly to check their progress, with teaching adjusted accordingly. Children get the chance to practise in their books which are marked and feedback is given.

Phonics Screening Check (Year 1)

The Phonics Screening Check is a statutory reading check which every child in Year 1 is required to take towards the end of the school year.

How can you help at home?

Sing lots of nursery rhymes together. Read with your child. Read to your child.

How do we support the pupils in school?

In EYFS and Key Stage One the children are taught to read and write following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ curriculum. This programme teaches children to decode (break down) words into their smallest units of sound (phonemes) step by step. Teachers use the Read Write Inc. rhymes and ditties for each sound to help them remember the letter shape, name and the sound it makes. Throughout EYFS and KS1 we use the ‘Geraldine the Giraffe’ videos to support the learning of phonics. We have a large selection of ‘book banded’ texts available in Key Stage 1. Children are matched to a colour band in accordance with their reading ability and are free to select a text to take home on a daily basis. This is assessed regularly to ensure children are reading within the correct colour band. We also use the ‘Phonics Bug’ books which correlate directly with the sounds that the children have learnt and their reading skills. Staff will also read these books with children throughout the week. Children have regular guided reading sessions; where texts are explored with a particular focus i.e. use of vocabulary, structure of different text types, inference and prediction. Parents are an integral part in the children’s reading journey. We encourage children to read at home on a daily basis and communication between school and home is recorded in ‘Reading Records’.

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