Throughout school we strive to encourage a rounded approach to reading where phonics skills are applied to increase fluency and improve comprehension. Our reading books are levelled to match the progression in phonics in order to offer children a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to challenge them at an appropriate level to ensure accelerated learning.
In Nursery children are provided with a weekly story book to share at home. alongside these books are suggested questions for children to discuss as an early start to comprehension. In FS1 children will be first provided with Lilac 'wordless' story books to continue developing these skills, discussing the events of the story through questioning by adults. They will then begin phase 2 phonics.
We follow letters and sounds a phoneme-led system that enables all children to make connections between the phonemes they hear and the graphemes that represent these. We have developed a consistent approach across the school that utilises a range of resources and pedagogy based on the Letters and Sounds system but is adapted to suit the needs of our pupils.
Daily phonics sessions are introduced in FS1, with a focus on listening games and distinguishing between sounds. We understand that these skills are vital and should continue to be developed throughout KS1 and KS2. This skill develops children’s abilities to listen to, make, explore and talk about sounds.
Children then begin Phase 4 phonics which teaches them to blend two or three adjacent consonants at the beginning, middle and end of words whilst consolidating the sounds taught previously.
The purpose of phase 5 phonic is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant.
At Phase 6 many children will be reading longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. The shift from learning to read to reading to learn takes place and children read for information and for pleasure.
As children build up their knowledge of sounds they are able to apply their decoding skills to any unfamiliar word may it be real or nonsense. During lessons children practice their decoding skills by sounding out the letters in ‘alien words/ nonsense words’. Children are unable to rely on existing knowledge of real words, and instead have to use their grapheme-phoneme knowledge.
Key vocabulary used through the teaching of phonics are:
- Blend - to draw individual sounds together to read a word e.g s-n-a-p blended together reads snap
- Segment - to split up a word into its individual phonemes to spell it e.g cat has three phonemes /c/, /a/, /t/
- Cluster - two or three letters making two or three sounds e.g the first three letters of straight are a consonant cluster
- Grapheme - a letter or group of letters which represent one sound
- Phoneme - a unit of sound in speech
- Digraph - a combination of two letters representing one sound
- Trigraph - a combination of three letters representing one sound
Created with images by Josh Applegate - "untitled image" • MI PHAM - "Cao Lãnh little girl" • Annie Spratt - "Child reading a book" • Josh Applegate - "untitled image" • Jacek Szczyciński - "untitled image" • Annie Spratt - "Guess How Much I Love You" • Sandy Millar - "untitled image"