What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

* Recognise the sounds that individual letters make

* Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make-such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’

* Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

The children are taught to read words by blending, which means pushing all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.

How is phonics taught?

Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS and Key Stage 1. Phonics is also taught to children in Key Stage 2, who require further support with phonics and reading.

Much of our phonics teaching takes place in small groups which are targeted to the needs of particular learners.

We use the Letters and Sounds guidance to provide the basis for our phonics teaching. We additionally use songs and actions from Jolly Phonics to help us remember our sounds in the early stages of our learning.

Progression in Phonics

By the end of Reception children are expected to be secure in Phase 3. By the end of Year 1 children are expected to be secure in Phase 5.  When finishing Key Stage 1, most children should be secure in Phase 6 – this phase moves away from learning sounds and focuses on spelling rules and patterns. Phase 6 is consolidated in Year 3, after this children are taught spelling rules and patterns throughout Key Stage 2.