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Phonics

We teach reading with a ‘phonics first’ approach and follow the First Class Phonics scheme of work. This scheme was chosen as it is successfully matched to the Year One Phonics Screening Check. The scheme organises phonic knowledge into Letter Sets which are ordered sequentially to ensure good progression through EYFS and Year One. Progression All children within EYFS and Key Stage 1 are taught phonics in daily, targeted sessions. This begins in Reception, where children are developing Phase 1, which they may have started if they attended a nursery. They begin by focussing on general sound discrimination; learning to distinguish environmental sounds, exploring instrumental sounds and body percussion. They also explore rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and voice sounds. Once children are able to successfully say phonemes using the correct speech sounds, they move onto oral blending and segmenting. In Reception, we continue to build on the children’s development in phonics and, once they are ready, phase 2 is introduced. All phonics teaching is multi-sensory and is designed to engage and meet the needs of all learners. During phase 2, children use the common consonants and vowels for segmenting and blending CVC words and they become more familiar with grapheme phoneme correspondence. Phase 4 is later introduced (CCVC, CVCC, VCC, CVC) using the graphemes taught in phase 2. Letter names are introduced alongside letter sounds as we begin to introduce digraphs. Children are also taught the alphabet song and are introduced to both lower and upper case letters simultaneously. By the end of the Reception Year, most children are working within phase 3 and have gained a good understanding of GPCs for many of the 43 phonemes.

In Key Stage 1, phonics teaching is continued in daily, focussed sessions and children continue to learn new grapheme phoneme correspondences and practise and apply these each day. During the Summer Term of Year 1, children’s phonic knowledge is assessed using the National Phonics Screening Assessment. During this assessment, children work individually alongside a member of staff with whom they are familiar. They are required to segment and blend a range of ‘real’ and ‘alien’ words Results of this screening check are shared with parents in the child’s Summer report and additional support will continue to be in place for those children who have struggled to meet the requirements of the check. For those children, who are not yet secure in their phonic knowledge, a re-check is administered in the Summer term of Year 2.

During Year 2, daily phonics teaching continues and children continue to learn, re-visit, practise and apply grapheme-phoneme correspondences in reading and writing. Alongside this, children also begin to explore further spelling patterns and rules, for example rules for adding suffixes to root words where changes to the root are required.

Throughout Key Stage 2, some children may still require additional support in developing their phonic knowledge and this often takes the form of additional, small group interventions alongside quality first teaching.