Farcet C of E Primary School

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Phonics

What is phonics?
Phonics is the correspondence between spoken sound (phoneme) and the written letter (grapheme).  It is a way of teaching children to read by breaking up words into small chunks of sound. For example we can break a simple word like ‘cat’ into the three sounds c-a-t.

To become successful readers children will learn the individual sounds for each letter or group of letters. Some sounds in English are made up of more than one letter like the sound ‘ea’ in tea or team. Once children know the sounds they will be able to ‘decode’ unfamiliar words by breaking the word into sounds then read the word by blending back together. For example: sh — o — p = shop

For an audio guide on how to pronounce the sounds click on one of the links below:

www.focusonphonics.co.uk/sound.htm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J2Ddf_0Om8

Why do we teach phonics?
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way - starting with the easiest sounds, progressing through to the most complex - it’s the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It’s particularly helpful or children aged 5–7. Almost all children who have good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.

How do we teach phonics?
Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1 and KS2 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Letters and Sound programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by Jolly Phonics, Floppy Phonics, Phonics Play and other computer games.
Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.

Further information about 'Letters and Sounds'
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers.

Phase

Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One (Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, the representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Phonics Assessment
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups, and children move phonics group when it is felt necessary to meet their needs. Children are formally assessed at the end of each half term.
The national Phonics screening check is performed in June of Year 1. Prior to this, the Year 1 phonics workshop gives parents information about how they can support their children at home with phonics. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year 1 enter again in year 2 with additional support. As children enter KS2 provision is made for those children still requiring daily phonics.