Early reading starts with phonics and developing good phonics skills in younger pupils is vitally important. Phonics provision begins in Nursery and skills are developed daily throughout The Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
The school follows a Systematic, Synthetic Phonics Scheme as advised by Government guidance, therefor we have chosen to use Letters and Sounds phonics programme as part of our whole school approach.
Letters and Sounds is split into six phases:
This works progressively through phases according to the children’s ability. More information about this can be obtained from your class teacher and during the phonics parents meetings. Phonics is taught daily for 25 minutes, this is separate to English lessons.
In key stage 1 they explore vowel digraphs and trigraphs (a group of three letters that make a single sound, like 'igh' as in 'light' further. They will begin to understand, for example, that the letters 'ea' can make different sounds in different words (dream and bread). They will also learn that one sound might be represented by different groups of letters: for example, 'light' and 'pie' make the same sound).
They will be learning spelling rules, such as adding suffixes to words e.g. 'ed' 'ing' 'er' 'est' 'ful'. They will be taught rules on how to change root words when adding these suffixes e.g. removing the 'e' from 'have' before adding 'ing' and then moving onto harder concepts, such as silent letters (knock, write, etc).
By the end of Reception, children should be able to read fluently and spell accurately:
Phase 2 High Frequency Words – Decodable and Tricky
Phase 3 High Frequency Words – Decodable and Tricky
Phase 4 High Frequency Words – Decodable and Tricky
By the end of Year 1, children should be able to read fluently and spell accurately
Phase 5 High Frequency Words – Decodable and Tricky
Year 1 Common Exception Words
By the end of Year 2, children should be able to read fluently and spell accurately:
Year 2 Common Exception Words
Year 1 phonics test
Since 2012, all children in year 1 undertake a phonics screening test during the summer term. The children are tested on their ability to apply their understanding of phonics to reading a selection of 'words'. Some of these are real and some are not. the tests are taken individually, so your child will sit with their teacher and work through the test.
Once the tests are completed, the school will report to parents whether their child ahs achieved the expected age related standard or not. Children who do not reach the standard in year 1 will be retested in the summer term of year 2.
There will be more information available regarding the tests later on in the academic year and we hold parent phonics meetings and drop in sessions in the Autumn Term. For more information please check into your child's Class Dojo page.
Here are some useful phonics websites you can use to find out more and also practice your phonics at home.
Check out Mr Thorne Network on youtube, where Mr Thorne and Geraldine Giraffe practice their phonics!