Phonics has a strong focus in the school curriculum across all of the year groups. The school uses Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds as the basis for its phonics teaching.
In the nursery the teaching of phonics begins by developing the children’s listening skills and ability to discriminate between different sounds this is known as phase one in the Letter and Sounds scheme.
In year R, phonics teaching begins once all the children are in full time. We use the Jolly Phonics programme to teach each child a new phoneme daily. The pure phonics sound is taught. Each phonics session lasts approximately 30 minutes and follows the same pattern with the children listening to a story introducing the phoneme, learning the action that accompanies it and then practising writing that sound to make the link to the grapheme.
Children are encouraged to use phonics to segment and blend letters into words for reading and writing. All 44 initial phonemes are taught within the three classes. At this point the children are sorted into ability groups to either reinforce and embed phonics learnt so far or to extend and develop phonics skills using the higher phases from Letters and Sounds. Parents are invited to a Phonics and Writing meeting in the Autumn term to learn how it is taught in school.
The Letters and Sounds programme is followed within Key Stage 1 building on sounds learnt and extending spelling skills including alternative sound patterns. There are 6 phases within Letters and Sounds which build upon phonics knowledge and the conventions of spelling.
Within Year 1 and Year 2 Phonics is taught within the class, each session lasts for approximately 30 minutes and takes place outside of the Literacy lesson. There are four dedicated sessions held weekly which also encompass the new curriculum guidance linked to Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) for example, leaving spaces between words; using capital letters for sentences and names; using the correct grammatical terminology. This is also threaded throughout the curriculum to provide the children with opportunities to consolidate their learning.
At the end of Year 1 children are required to take a Phonics Screening Check and we are proud of our high pass rate. Any children failing to meet the required standard undertake the check again at the end of Year 2.