EYFS and KS1 Phonics
Phonics at Petham
At Petham Primary School, we aim to develop confident, fluent and passionate readers and writers from an early stage. We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). This is a process that first teaches the letter sounds, building up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.
Application of phonics to reading The National Curriculum for English (2014) aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
Reading underpins children’s access to the curriculum and it clearly impacts on their achievement. There is considerable research to show that children who enjoy reading and choose to read benefit not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. To be able to read, children need to be taught an efficient strategy to decode words. That strategy is phonics. It is essential that children are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding. Other strategies must be avoided. Phonic decoding skills must be practised until children become automatic and fluent reading is established.
At Petham we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised programme as our phonics programme. Fluent decoding is only one component of reading. Comprehension skills need to be taught to enable children to make sense of what they read, build on what they already know and give them a desire to want to read. Reading increases children’s vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Furthermore, children who read widely and frequently also have more secure general knowledge.
In EYFS children are introduced to Phase 2 and Phase 3 phonemes. Our children are taught to recognise the 44 sounds in the English language which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like 't', and some by two or more, like 'ck' in duck and 'igh’ as in light. We refer to these as diagraphs and trigraphs. Once they have mastered the initial sounds the children are encouraged to match them to letters, then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Finally, they use their knowledge of the sounds and blending skills to support their spelling. The children learn to read a list of age appropriate ‘tricky’ words, words which cannot be sounded out using their phonics e.g ‘the’.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 the children revise the 44 sounds and learn alternative graphemes, for example 'ay' as in play and 'ou' as in cloud. Towards the end of Key Stage 1 and moving in to Key Stage 2, we teach the children important ‘spelling rules’. This enables children to make the shift from writing phonetically to spelling words accurately.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
The national Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils and it is administered during the summer term. It is a short, statutory, assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills required to read words and that they are on track to become confident, fluent readers who have a love of reading.
The check consists of a list of 40 words, half are real words and half are 'nonsense' words; the nonsense words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense words.
This link will take you to the progression document, so that you can see when your child would learn each sound: Programme Overview
Below you can find links to documents and videos which explain how to pronounce each phoneme:
Autumn 1: Info sheet
Autumn 2: Info Sheet
Spring 1: Info Sheet
Useful Phonics websites and games
Please find our Phonics and Early Reading policy here