At Granby Primary School we believe that phonics is a crucial part of Foundation Stage and Key Stage One as it gives children the skills to become confident and independent readers and writers. All children have daily discrete phonics sessions.
Our school is a Universal school for the Knowledge Transfer Centre scheme for Phonics and Reading. This is a Local Authority project for phonics and reading based on Letters and Sounds developed by Literacy Consultant Ann Smallberger. It is a synthetic phonics programme used to teach phonics, high frequency words and to support early reading development.
Children also learn to read and spell tricky words by sight; words which don’t rely on phonics. We call these our ‘sight words.’ “We look at the words, we say the words.”
Phonics is taught through various phases:
Phase One lies mainly within the areas of communication and language and focuses on everyday sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and orally segmenting and blending. It consists of seven interlinking parts:
- environmental sounds
- instrumental sounds
- body percussion
- rhythm and rhyme
- alliteration (words that begin with the same sound)
- voice sounds
- oral blending and segmenting
Phase Two focuses on learning all single sounds, matching them to graphemes and how to read and write them in words. Children begin to blend the sounds to make the words. By the end of Phase Two, children will be able to read some ‘vowel-consonant’ and ‘consonant-vowel-consonant’ words, e.g. up, in, cat, pin.
Phase Three focuses on learning simple digraph and trigraph sounds and applying these when reading and writing words and sentences (for example, igh, oo, ear and er). Children will learn to blend these graphemes for reading in one-syllable and two-syllable words. Children will also learn to read and write captions and sentences with these letters.
Phase Four focuses on learning adjacent consonants in words (for example, fl, pr,cr and st). It is now introduced in Phase Two so that children begin to familiarise themselves with adjacent consonant blends. This is also integrated throughout all of the other phases.
When we read in phonics we:
Say: “Look at the letters, make the sounds and blend the sounds together”
When we write in phonics we:
Say: “Say the word, finger the word, write the word”
Phase Four revision; a consolidation of children’s knowledge. Children also move on to blending and segmenting using adjacent consonants, e.g. st, sp, tr, br, spr, str in words such as string, blow, train.
Phase Five focuses on learning alternative digraph and trigraph sounds and applying these when reading and writing words and sentences (for example, ie, ph, oe and ai)
Phase Five revision of phonics before moving on spelling rules and patterns. Within Phase Five children broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes to apply in their reading and writing. During Phase Five, children will learn to read words with alternative pronunciation of graphemes and words with two and three syllables. Children will learn to choose the appropriate grapheme when writing words and learn to write two-syllable words, three-syllable words and polysyllabic words.
Phase Six is mainly taught as children progress through Year Two.
Children are becoming fluent readers and more accurate spellers. They learn more spelling patterns such as the use of prefixes and suffixes, contracted forms of words (e.g. can’t, won’t) and other words in common usage such as days of the week. At this stage, children can read many words automatically and now reading for pleasure and reading to learn rather than learning to read. They can decode words quickly and silently and only need to sound out longer or more unfamiliar words.
Year One Phonics Check:
In June, every year, the Government publish a National Phonics assessment for all Year One children to complete. The aim is to check that a child is making progress in phonics. They are expected to read a mixture of real words and ‘nonsense’ words. The assessment involves reading a total of 40 words, a combination of real and alien words.
Please use the link below to practise this with your child. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phonics-screening-check-2017-materials
All children complete a baseline assessment at the beginning of each academic year, then at intervals throughout the year. All assessments are used to identify any gaps in children’s learning. Some children will receive extra daily intervention support outside of their daily discrete phonics lessons., continuing into Year Two if necessary.