Phonics guide for parents
Phonics (the knowledge of sounds) and Spelling:
Alongside the development of reading, the school takes a systematic and structured approach to the learning of phonics. At our school the teaching and learning of phonics is based solely around the Essential Letters and Sounds Program. During their time at the school, each child gains experience of each of the phases described below:
Phase 1 - Experimenting with sounds.
Children identify sounds through play and experimentation. They are encouraged to listen to and discern the difference between sounds and create a wide range of sounds for themselves.
The children will be learning individual sounds and developing their skills at blending and segmenting these sounds for spelling and reading. At this stage parents should be encouraging their children to play sound games and practice sounds at home i.e. I-Spy. At this stage children begin to make CVC (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant) words i.e. cat.
Phase 2 guide
Once the children know all their letters, common sounds such as sh, th, st, pr, and ch are introduced.
At this stage parents should be encouraging their child to blend and segment words when they are playing games with words and /or reading. At this stage children practise making CVC (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant) words i.e. cat and begin to make CCVC (i.e. ship) and CVCC (i.e. much) words.
Phase 3 guide
Common end sounds i.e. ng, ll, ff, ld,.lp are introduced.
At this stage parents should be encouraging their child to blend and segment words when they are playing games with words and /or reading.
At this stage children practise making CCVC (i.e. ship) and develop their range of CVCC (i.e. mend) words.
The sounds represented by more than one letter are taught i.e. ai, ea, ir etc.
At this stage parents should be encouraging their child to blend and segment words when they are playing games with words and /or reading. The children are now developing their knowledge and skills with vowel diagraphs( two vowels that when put together make a new sound) such as ai as in maid, ea as in bear and ir as in bird. They also work with split vowel diagraphs such as a-e as in fare.
Children will learn word families and review their knowledge. The children at this stage and beyond develop their spelling further and meet the full range of spelling rules, develop knowledge of word roots and meanings and use common suffixes and prefixes to build their vocabulary.
The children work through each phase over a 6 week period and at the end of the phase their knowledge and skills are reviewed and next steps identified.
Beyond Phase 6.
The children continue to be taught spelling and each year group is taught the statutory spellings alongside vocabulary to build their knowledge and experience further. This continues into Year 6 where the children are deepening their skills and knowledge ready for the transition to secondary.
The Phonics Screening Check
During the Summer term in Year 1, children nationwide are tested on their phonic knowledge. This test helps us to identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need further support in Year 2. The test is low-key and we endeavour to make it stress-free for the children. Essentially, the children are asked to read 40 words from a list, using their phonics to ‘sound out’ the word and then blend it if they need to. Parents are informed as to whether their child has achieved the national expectation within the child’s end-of-year report.