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.
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.
Intent, Implementation and Impact 2020-2021
At St Stephen’s C of E Primary School, it is our intention that every child gains the phonics knowledge and language comprehension necessary to read, together with the skills to communicate, which will provide them with a firm foundation for lifelong learning.
We use a systematic synthetic phonics programme based on The Letters and Sounds Guidance issued by the DFE, to ensure that all pupils become successful readers and that will ensure that all pupils are enabled to access the full curriculum.
At all stages, reading attainment and progress is assessed and monitored. Gaps are addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils. Our teaching staff endeavour to support every child in developing their language and vocabulary skills, and to foster a love of reading.
At St Stephen’s C of E Primary School, we follow the six phases of the Letters and Sounds program.
Phase 1 is taught in Nursery and enables children to start hearing the difference between everyday sounds and introduces letter sounds.
Phases 2, 3 and 4 are taught in Reception and lay the foundations for early reading skills to develop.
Phases 3 and 4 are reviewed at the beginning of Year 1, followed by the teaching of Phase 5. Phase 6 is taught in Year 2, by this time children should be fairly fluent readers.
Daily Phonics lessons, which are taught in whole class groups, follow the Letters and Sounds four-part model of Review, Teach, Practise, Apply. Phonics interventions are implemented in all year groups where necessary; we aim to address the support needed on the same day with short, sharp intervention. When teaching and reviewing phonemes and graphemes, mnemonics and rhymes are used to support efficient recognition and recall.
All teachers and support staff delivering phonics lessons and interventions have received specific Phonics training from the English hub. Ongoing support from a Literacy specialist is also provided by our partnership with the English hub. Decodable reading books matched to children’s phonetic reading ability are used where appropriate in lessons and for home reading to enable success. The home-school partnership is developed by providing parents with Phonics packs to support learning to read at home.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage can be measured by the percentage of children achieving the Reading Early Learning Goal (ELG), which is essential in achieving a Good Level of Development (GLD). At St Stephen’s, 79% of Reception children achieved the Reading ELG in June 2019. In England 76.9% of Reception achieved the ELG in Reading in 2019.
Impact in Year 1 can be measured by the percentage of children achieving the pass mark in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. At St Stephen’s, 81% of Year 1 passed the Phonics Screening Check in June 2019. In England, 82% of pupils met the expected standard in Phonics in year 1 in 2019.
Impact in Year 2 can be measured by the percentage of children reaching the expected standard in Reading in the KS1 National Curriculum tests. At St Stephen’s, 70% of Year 2 reached the expected standard in Reading in June 2019 . Nationally, 75% of pupils reached the expected standard in Reading in 2019.
At St Stephen’s Primary School we use Phonics Tracker to assess and plan actions. Those children who have not yet achieved the pass mark in their Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1 are given additional support in the following year through interventions and they will retake the Phonics Screening Check at the end of the following year. Additionally, children in KS2 who have not yet achieved their Age-Related Expectations in Reading are given additional support including Phonics interventions.