Our approach to teaching Phonics

We teach our children using systematic, synthetic phonics following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. The ‘Letters and Sounds’ document can be found below.

Letters and Sounds

Phonics is taught daily in the EYFS / KS1 and is continued as necessary into Year 3, 4 and 5.  The letters and sounds programme is broken down into phases, beginning in Phase One with early phonic skills that involve simple speaking and listening activities and linking sounds to letters,right through to Phase 6 where children will be expected to know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs), be able to read and phonetically spell hundreds of words. Children will also become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

Synthetic Phonics is a way of teaching reading and spelling. Children are taught to read letters or groups of letters by saying the sound(s) they represent.  Children can then start to read words by blending (synthesizing) the sounds together to make a word. The children also learn which letter or groups of letters (graphemes) make each individual sound (phoneme). For example, children are taught to take a single-syllable word such as cat apart into its three letters, pronounce a phoneme for each letter in turn /k, æ, t/, and blend the phonemes together to form the word 'cat'.

By the end of Foundation 2, most children should be secure with Phase 4 phonics. By the end of Year 1, children should be secure with Phase 5 phonics and by the end of Year 2 most children should be secure with Phase 6 phonics.

Phonics Screening Check

In Year 1 children are required to take part in a National Phonics Screening Test which happens in the summer term.  Children will work very hard in class on their sound recognition and reading skills.  If children do not reach the expected standard in Year 1 they will be expected to take or retake the test again in Year 2.  To support your child at home we will host a number of workshops and create resources that will show you what types of words children will be reading as part of the test.