At St. Bede’s R.C. Primary School we recognise that being able to read is one of the most important skills children will learn during their early schooling. This has far-reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well-being.
Our reading curriculum helps to ensure that young children are well-placed to read and spell words with fluency and confidence by the time they reach the end of KS1. This is an entitlement we want to achieve for every child.
Phonics teaches children the link between the written letter and the sound that the written letter/s makes. Children can use this knowledge to spell and read words.
We teach Phonics in school through a systematic teaching programme called ‘Letters and Sounds.’ Phonics is taught daily and the sounds are taught in a particular order.
There are 6 phases of phonics starting in nursery and working through year 2.
Nursery = Phase 1
Provides the foundations for phase 2, 3 and 4 in reception
Is very much based on speaking and listening
Reception = Phase 2, 3, 4 (with phase 1 running alongside)
This is the stage where children begin to learn the letters names, the sound the letters make and how to write the letters.
Children learn to segment (break up a word into sounds) and blend (blend the sounds back together) using the sounds they have learnt
Children begin to learn sounds that are represented by two letters – digraphs (sh, th, ee) and three letter tri-graphs (igh, ear)
Children continue to practise blending and segmenting words which also include the phase 3 sounds.
Year 1 = Phase 5
Children will be taught new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these graphemes and graphemes they already know
They will begin to learn to choose the appropriate grapheme when spelling
The children will be automatically decoding a large number of words for reading by this point
By this phase children should be reading words fluently and no longer be blending and segmenting familiar words
The real focus throughout the phase is to not only learn the new graphemes for reading but also to learn to read words with alternative pronunciations
Children also will need to learn alternative spellings for each phoneme.
Year 2 = Phase 6
In phase 6 children will be reading longer and less familiar texts independently and fluently
It is crucial that at this point children are now reading to learn and reading for pleasure
In spelling children are introduced to the adding of suffixes and how to spell longer words
Throughout the phase children are encouraged to develop strategies for learning.
More information about the approach can be found at http://www.letters-and-sounds.com