Our consistent approach to teaching phonics, using the systematic synthetic phonics program 'Letters and Sounds', lays excellent foundations for success in reading throughout the school. We use Cued Articulation alongside this to provide motor support for verbal work.
Phonic work is best understood as a body of knowledge and skills about how the alphabet works. It enables children to decode words in order to read them: they learn to recognise graphemes(the written representation of single sounds we hear in words - for example ‘s’ (single letter) or ‘ph’ (digraph – two letters) or ‘igh’ (trigraph – three letters) and associate these with the corresponding sound or phoneme that they make. Applying this phonic knowledge is enormously helpful for children trying to decode unfamiliar words as they learn to read.
Children learn a number of different phonemes.
We run regular workshops to help parents learn how to sound out correctly and help their children at home. In addition, 'Mr Thorne does phonics', available on YouTube, presents clearly the correct pronunciation to use with children when helping them to sound out words.
Our high quality systematic, synthetic phonic work will make sure that children learn:
The programme is designed so that children become fluent readers having secured word recognition skills by the end of Key Stage One.
It introduces a defined group of consonants and vowels, enabling children, early on, to read and spell many simple CVC words.
Teachers track children's progress through the mapped incremental progression in phonic knowledge and skills, enabling them to assess to inform further learning and identify incipient difficulties, so that appropriate support can be provided.
Multi-sensory activities are interesting and engaging, but firmly focused on intensifying the learning surrounding the phonic goal. They are simple and directly linked to the child's ability to achieve the required phonic knowledge.
Children have the opportunity to practice using their newly acquired phonic skills through reading texts specifically designed for this purpose.
In Year 1, every child across the country completes a statutory phonics screening check in the same week of June. The check is very similar to tasks the children already complete during phonics lessons. The focus of the check is to provide evidence of children’s decoding and blending skills, not to test their vocabulary.
During the check the children will be asked to ‘sound out’ a word and blend the sounds together.
e.g. d-o-g – dog. They will be encouraged to use ‘sound buttons’ to help them. The check will consist of 40 words and non-words, or nonsense words. Children will be told if the word is a real or ‘alien’ (nonsense) word, with a corresponding alien image.
If your child is absent due to illness during the test week, we will still be able to screen them the following week.