Phonics is Fun! Every class, from EYFS to Year 2, has a daily focus on Phonics. The session will typically last up to thirty minutes and a programme of synthetic phonics is followed. During this time, children may be appropriately placed within groups to maximise their potential.
Our focus is on using our phonic knowledge to improve, encourage and develop our reading and writing skills.
The synthetic phonics approach, used is the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme, to ensure a consistency of approach in phonics teaching and learning. It is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words.
The teaching is fun and multi-sensory and works at a fast pace.
Our children begin with Letters and Sounds games to develop their listening skills and encourage them to explore sounds in speech. The first step in learning to read and write is to learn the letter sounds. These are the building blocks for making words, both written and spoken. The children are taught the letter sounds, rather than the letter names to prevent them getting muddled. Once their letter sounds are secure, they are introduced to the letter names and capital letters.
Blending is another skill we teach the children. Blending is the ability to run sounds together to hear a word and is essential for reading.Children also learn to read and write tricky words and are supported in broadening their vocabulary. Once the children are confident with blending sounds together the children will be introduced to the alternative pronunciations of the sounds learnt and spelling patterns and rules will be taught alongside this.
In the Summer Term, every Year 1 child will take a statutory Phonics Screening Check, this is a phonics based check where the children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children who are at the expected level in their phonics. The results will be reported to parents. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. All children (unless they have a specific Special Educational Need or Disability) leave Key Stage 1 above or at the expected level in their phonics skills.
Eatock school does not follow a set phonics reading scheme and phonics based readers are drawn from a variety of schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree or Songbird Phonics.
We do, however, use the Bookband system, to which most publishers subscribe. This organises reading books into colour bands and the children progress through the colour bands throughout Key Stage 1. The early colour bands have a high focus on different phonic readers.