At Pyrcroft Grange Primary School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent readers and writing a smooth, progressive process.
Our aim is that all children;
- Recognise the 44 phonemes outlined in the English language.
- Are familiar with numerous grapheme phoneme correspondences.
- Can develop the skills to blend and segment phase appropriate words.
- Are able to use phonic blending skills to decode unfamiliar words within a text.
- Are able to use segmenting skills to spell unfamiliar words phonetically.
Phonics at Pyrcroft Grange Primary School follows the Department of Education approved Phonics Shed and Phonics Bug. This allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Nursery up to Year 3 as well as allowing children’s listening and speaking skills to develop.
Children in Nursery moving into Reception will focus on
- Phase 1: Activities are divided into seven aspects: Environmental sounds, Instrumental sounds, Body sounds, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration and finally Oral blending and Segmenting.
- This is supported by Phonics Shed through adult led phonics activities, songs and games.
- Children in Reception will move onto Phase 2 learning 19 letters of the alphabet and the sound (phoneme) each letter (grapheme) makes. Through songs, stories, games and phonic texts the children will be introduced into each sound where they will learn:
- The phoneme
- Corresponding grapheme
- Letter name
- Letter formation
- To hear and blend the phoneme to read words.
- To Hear and segment words containing the phoneme to spell unfamiliar words.
- Children will be taught to read and write simple words and captions using the highlighted phonics.
- The children will once secure move onto Phase3: The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as “ch” “oo” and “th” representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. As previously the children will be introduce to the phoneme and grapheme that represents the sound. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the simple code: one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
- The children will ready to begin Phase 4 in the Summer term of Reception : No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent sounds e.g. swim, clap, jump
- Children in year 1 and 2 will work through Phase 5: Now we move on to the complex code. Children learn more graphemes for phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
- Year 2 will begin Phase 6: Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters.
In the Early Years learning environment children are exposed to the teaching of phonics through action songs, images, stories and games. Children will engage in daily phonics teaching to introduce the phonic sound. As children develop a wider phonic knowledge, they will progress to more in depth and longer sessions to support the application of phonic sounds.
Planning follows a specific structure to support the application of phonic knowledge:
- Revisit previous knowledge
- Introduce new phoneme
Phonics teaching is then supported by the reading material children are exposed to in daily guided reading sessions. We are using Bug Club reading scheme to continue to develop and apply the children’s phonic knowledge and provide opportunities to practice this knowledge with fun and exciting texts at home.
Children are regularly assessed using Phonics tracker to identify phonic gaps and support our phonics catch up schemes GAPS. This intervention programme supports closing identified gaps in focused, smaller group sessions.
Our phonics curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression and application of phonic knowledge.
Children get a flying start to being able to hear and identify sounds, blend them and use this knowledge to read simple sentences. They are confident to apply their phonic knowledge in a wide range of contexts and other important reading skills are built upon this secure foundation.
Children in Year 1 achieve in line or exceed the national Average in the Phonics Screening Test.