The teaching of Phonics
The teaching of reading begins from the very moment the children enter school. Children are immersed in phase 1 activities that include playing with sounds and rhymes. They are told stories and immersed in rhymes from the very beginning of Reception class.
Alongside phase 1 activities children are taught phase 2 sounds in a systematic way following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ order of introduction. There is a daily phonics lesson of 15 minutes. Children are taught as a whole class until Christmas. After this they are grouped by ability based on assessment and taught in groups of similar ability. There is no set number of phonemes that must be taught each week. It is based on continuous assessment and the needs of each group.
We aim that all children leave Reception on phase 3 of ‘Letters and Sounds’. In order to cater for all learning styles the teaching of phonics is supported by Jolly Phonics. We also use the online programme Phonics Play to enhance the children’s learning; this has interactive activities and games on it to support all phases and areas of phonics.
Year 1 and Year 2
The children are grouped by assessment into ability groups and taught the phase they are currently working on. There is no set number of phonemes that must be taught each week. It is based on continuous assessment and the needs of each group.
There is a daily phonics lesson of 20 minutes and then the children are given opportunities to apply these skills throughout the day/ week (e.g. in guided reading). We aim that all children leave Year 1 on phase 5 of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and Year 2 on phase 6 of ‘Letters and Sounds’ (we use The Spelling Shed to support the teaching of Phase 6 Phonics. All Year 1 children will also take the Phonics Screening test in June to assess their progress. If they do not pass this test they will re-sit it in Year 2.
Beyond Year 2
Those children assessed at being below phase 6 will continue to work in small intervention groups in order to reach the required level.
The Assessment of Phonics
The progress of all children against national targets must be assessed on a termly basis. The phonics assessment measures progress, identifies those requiring intervention and identifies the gaps in their learning. All future planning is based on the outcomes of these assessments.
All assessments will be monitored on a termly basis by the Phonics Leader and SLT and consequently groupings may be changed.
We must work towards ensuring that 80% of all children leave Year 1 on Phase 5.
We have an appointed Phonics Leader who has the role of ensuring that phonics is taught and assessed systematically in order to ensure that all children make the expected progress at the very earliest stages of reading to give them the very best start. The role of the leader includes:
- Supporting teachers and teaching assistants in the planning of phonics.
- Ensuring appropriate resources are available to all.
- Monitoring the assessment of phonics across FS and KS1 (and KS2).
- Supporting teachers in the grouping of children.