Phonics

Intent

 At Blakehill Primary School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through phonics children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is of high priority.

 

Implementation

Systematic synthetic phonics is taught throughout reception, year 1 and year 2. In year 3 children consolidate and embed all phonics learning to ensure knowledge is secure. This is used to ensure the pupils are taught new phonemes in a particular order using the four part lesson format: revise, teach, practise and apply. Whole-class teaching takes place on a daily basis. 

 A new sound is taught daily using flashcards and interactive resources from 'Bug Club Phonics'. Every lesson also incorporates speed writing of graphemes or common exception and high frequency words. Lessons are kept fast-paced and usually last no more than 20 minutes: this is to ensure that all pupils are fully engaged and enjoying their phonics learning.

Formative assessment takes place during all phonics lessons, quickly identifying who has and has not picked up a new sound, informing future planning.

Phonics does not stand alone at Blakehill Primary. We integrate this into many areas of the curriculum, referring back to sounds and strategies wherever possible. Pupils who are making slow progress are identified quickly and intervention is immediately put into place, alongside the usual phonics teaching.

Phase One begins when a child is at nursery. However this phase paves the way for the systematic learning of phonics and should continue to be a focus throughout Reception and KS1. During this phase, we plan activities that will help children to listen attentively to sounds around them, such as the sounds of their toys and to sounds in spoken language. We teach a wide range of nursery rhymes and songs and read good books to and with the children. This helps to increase the number of words they know – their vocabulary – and helps them talk confidently about books. The children also learn to identify rhyme and alliteration. 

Phase 2 phonics teaching starts as soon as the pupils are settled in reception. Phase 2 introduces 24 phonemes and we teach 4 a week. During this phase, we begin oral blending and segmenting before moving on to blending and segmenting with letters.  We then move on to teaching phase 3 which introduces more new sounds, most of which are digraphs and trigraphs. By the end of phase 3, the pupils will know one way of writing down each of the 44 phonemes. Once the pupils are secure in applying phase 3 sounds, we begin teaching phase 4. This continues to consolidate phase 3 phonemes and teaches the pupils how to read and spell words with longer word structures e.g. CCVC, CVCC & CCCVC.

In year 1, pupils continue their phonics learning as soon as they arrive, usually recapping the phase 3 and 4 digraphs and trigraphs. Phase 5 phonics is then taught throughout Year 1.

Each half term within EYFS and KS1, the Phonics Assessment is completed in order to monitor each child’s progress towards meeting their year group expectations.

Systematic synthetic phonics continues to be taught in Year 2. The first part of year  is spent revisiting phase 5 alternative spellings and creating “best guess” rules for pupils to use and apply. We then move on to phase 6 and learning prefixes and suffixes. Children are also taught to explore etymology and develop spelling patterns based on their understanding of the root of a word. Moving into the spring term, children move onto learning spelling patterns for Year 2 words.

Within Year 2, focused group work is also completed to ensure all children pass the Year 1 phonics screening if they did not the previous year.

Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.

 

Progression of Skills
 
The information below provides you with an overview of the progression of sounds as they are taught here at Blakehill following the Bug Club Phonics Programme.
 
Parental Involvement/Home Learning Opportunities
 

 There are a number of things that parents can do to help at home:

  • Let your child see you enjoy reading yourself. They are influenced by you and what you do.
  • Make time for your child to read their school book to you every day.
  • If your child brings home ‘tricky word’ flash cards, make time to work on them with your child – have fun with them!
  • With all books, encourage your child to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words and then blend from left to right rather than looking at pictures to guess.
  • Play games that will develop letter sound knowledge such as I Spy.
  • There are also many phonic games for children to access on the computer or Apps if you have a tablet.
www.phonicsplay.co.uk
www.lettersandsounds.com
  • Mr T's Phonics with Geraldine the Giraffe on youtube is a great resource including videos and activities.  Mr Thorne also has a number of Apps available.
 
Some of the terms used can be a little confusing so here is some information to help you: