Phonics

Welcome to our virtual guide to phonics (the sounds that letters make) and early reading!

At Murdishaw West Community Primary School Pearson Bug Club is used to teach synthetic phonics which is a DfE approved programme.

A graduated approach is used and children begin phonics as soon as they enter Foundation class. Phonics is taught daily through a systematic approach from Phase 1 -6. Children are taught within their class and any additional support required is delivered in small groups.

In Foundation class children begin by developing an awareness of sounds through stories, rhymes and games. They quickly move on to learn the links between individual letters and their sounds. There are 44 different sounds to be learnt and again these are taught in a systematic way throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1.

How we teach phonics

Children begin reading Phonics Bug books in our Foundation Class as soon as they can recognise the first set of sounds in phonics. These books are matched to children’s phonic ability and reading these books supports the development of the children’s skills in learning to decode and blend words. Alongside this the children work in class on learning tricky words. Children are also given a book that can be read together with an adult at home.

 

Children progress through their time in Foundation, Year One and Year Two working through our structured reading books until they are ready to move onto free choice colour-banded books. They take their books to read at home and this is monitored weekly in class. Guided Reading also takes place in infant classes, to teach reading strategies and comprehension skills.

Throughout this process the children are assessed on a regular basis to check their reading ability and to ensure that they are reading the correct stage of books for their ability.

Every Year 1 child in the Summer term will take a Phonics Screening Check in which children will be expected to read 40 simple, de-codable words including nonsense words. This is a progress check to identify those children not at expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents and school governors. Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level. Any child working below the level of the screen check may be dis-applied, with the permission of their parent/carer.  

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Phase 1 - Nursery

In Phase 1, children focus on developing their speaking and listening skills. They focus on listening to the sounds around them and also begin building on their segmenting and blending skills.

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Phase 2 - YF

In Phase 1, children focus on developing their speaking and listening skills. They focus on listening to the sounds around them and also begin building on their segmenting and blending skills.

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Phase 3 - YF-Y1

In Phase 1, children focus on developing their speaking and listening skills. They focus on listening to the sounds around them and also begin building on their segmenting and blending skills.

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Phase 4 - Y1

At this stage, children should be comfortable with each phoneme. From here on, the teaching of phonics will be about consolidating and improving their knowledge, while introducing trickier words .Here are some examples of the kinds of phonemes at this stage.

  • Sk, lt, lp, if, and pt

  • Scr, shr, thr, nch and str

  • Fr, nl, fl, gl and pl

  • Cl, sl, sp, st and tw

  • Sm, pr, sc, sk and sn

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Phase 5- Y1

Children entering Phase Five will already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and flask. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words.

Children will broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes.

Children will sit their Phonics Screening assessment in Year 1 / Phase 5.

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Phase 6 - Y2-Y3

By the end of Phase 6 children should be fluent readers and accurate at spelling a range of words, including words which don't conform to traditional spelling rules.

In terms of reading, children will continue to develop three main skills throughout phase 6:

■ reading the words automatically
■ decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;
■ decoding them aloud.