At The Albert Pye and Ravensmere Schools Federation we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and believe this is supported through the systematic teaching of Phonics.
The teaching of Phonics is an integral part of our school community. Phonics is about the links between letters and the sounds they make. It is a way of teaching children how spoken words are composed of sounds called phonemes and letters called graphemes. The process of reading involves decoding or segmenting words into separate phonemes so that meaning can be gained.
At The Albert Pye and Ravensmere Schools Federation we use the National Phonics programme of systematic phonics called ‘Letters and Sounds’. It is divided into six phases with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. The children are taught to read and write ‘real’ words and ‘pseudo’ (alien) words to consolidate their reading skills. The ‘pseudo’ words e.g. bron, spigh are used to test their continuing accuracy in using and applying their sounds.
The children will take part in daily high quality, structured sessions. These will usually last for about 20 minutes. We use a variety of multi- sensory, practical strategies to enthuse and engage children including games, outdoor activities and songs. This session includes revising already taught sounds, introducing new sounds, then practising applying these sounds in reading and spelling of words. Finally the children will be regularly assessed and monitored to inform planning.
In Reception, the children will learn Phase 2 sounds a few weeks after they start school. Your child will be taught how to pronounce the phonemes (sounds) correctly to make blending easier. The letters will be modelled by the teacher and the children will learn to correctly form their letters accordingly. The children will learn the following set of sounds:
s a t p i n m d g o c k ck u r h b f ff ll and s.
They will learn how to draw sound buttons underneath each sound as they learn to blend. E.g. -p-i-n
As the children learn the sounds in small groups the corresponding sets of sounds will be sent home in book bags for parents to practise segmenting and blending to make new words. Phase 2 sounds will be on small yellow cards, the children will then be assessed regularly to check their progress.
The children will also learn ‘pseudo’ words and Tricky words to ensure their rapid progress.
If they are working at the expected level children will start learning Phase 3 in the Spring Term. They will only move on if they are confident within Phase 2. They will learn how to practise blending and segmenting a wider range of words, e.g. ch i p, sh ee p. They will learn about digraphs, words with two letters that say one sound, e.g sh, ch and oi.
The children will learn the following sounds:
j v w x y z zz qu ch sh th ng ai ee igh oa o oar or u row oi ear air ure er
Again they will take these sounds home in small groups to learn, this time on red cards. They will be assessed at school regularly.
As your child enters Key Stage 1 they will continue to take part in daily sessions always fun, energetic and engaging. At the start of Year 1 they will revisit Phase 3 to consolidate and embed learning further. They will also take home weekly spellings that reflect the corresponding sounds being learnt to enable the children to develop their writing and spellings.
In Phase 4 no new sounds are taught. Children consolidate previous sounds taught in Phases 2 and 3. They will be introduced to 2 syllable words to further their reading development. E.g. windmill. This is a very important phase where children are building polysyllabic words with increasing confidence.
In this phase they will learn more graphemes and phonemes. For example, they already know ai as in ‘rain’, but now they will be introduced to ay as in ‘day’ and a-e as in ‘game’.
During Phase 5, children are taught the following graphemes:
oy ay ou ie ea ir ue aw wh ph e woe au.
They are also taught the following split digraphs where the e changes the sound of the vowel from short sound e.g. a e i o u to a long sound.
a-e (m-a-k-e) e-e (th-e-s-e) i-e (l-i-k-e) o-e (h-o-m-e)
These will be sent home on green cards regularly in small groups and assessed accordingly.
At the end of Year 1 the children will take a compulsory National Screening Check to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. The check involves pupils reading 40 words. There will be 20 ‘real words’ and 20 ‘pseudo’ words. Children who do not pass the screening will retake the check in Year 2.