Phonics & Early Reading
Welcome to the Phonics & Early Reading Page
Through a systematic synthetic phonics approach, which is critical in teaching the alphabetic code, the children acquire the knowledge that is essential not only for reading but for spelling. Good phonics teaching also supports the development of early writing skills too. Opportunities for the direct teaching of phonics and early reading and writing skills takes place on a daily basis throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, with additional opportunities provided for children to consolidate their growing knowledge.
We believe that children develop a love of reading through the satisfaction they gain from decoding words successfully, which results from having a sound phonic knowledge. This enables them to develop a level of fluency needed to comprehend and become immersed in stories. To allow this to happen, children are exposed to high quality books covering a range of different genres and interests. The texts available to children for both school and home reading purposes are updated regularly, and their phonetically decodable content ensures they are matched closely to individual levels of ability. It also promotes success in reading from the very beginning due to children reaching a level of fluency at a rapid pace.
Good phonics teaching is dependent on sound teacher knowledge, and a consistent approach to the teaching methods used throughout school. Through careful planning, observation and teacher assessment, our phonics programme is delivered at a fast pace with all learners achieving success. We ensure all parts of the phonic lesson are fully interactive for all children. The sessions are multi-sensory with seeing, hearing, doing activities involved throughout. Opportunities to practise skills like segmenting and blending outside of the phonics sessions are also provided. It is crucial that phonic strategies continue to be modelled in other lessons, especially English via modelled writing, guided reading, cross curricular etc.
In Nursery, developing phonological awareness largely falls within the Communication and Language and the Literacy areas of learning. However, good quality planning of provision ensures opportunities are provided to link phonics within all other areas of learning. Phonics is taught on a daily basis in Nursery, with particular emphasis being placed on alliteration, oral blending and segmenting. All children have access to daily phonological awareness activities, regardless of any additional need throughout the year. This allows pupils to discriminate between different speech sounds orally before entering the Reception year.
Every classroom throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1 has a Phonics Working Wall that reflects the learning that has, and is taking place for all children in the class. We also value the importance of displaying the digraphs/trigraphs that the children have learnt in their previous class. This is to ensure that children are able to draw on their prior phonic knowledge and continue to learn and apply new skills, not just within the phonics session, but throughout all other subject areas when reading and writing.
Teachers refer to the phonic working wall, using this as a point of reference during all modelled, shared, guided and independent reading and writing situations.
Ongoing teacher assessment takes place on a daily basis during every phonics lesson. However, children are also assessed by the class teacher on a 1:1 basis during Assessment Week at the end of each term. This is to ensure that the class teacher is aware of any misconceptions and plan for the next steps in learning effectively.
Our approach to the teaching of phonics is fully inclusive and values every learner. If a child is experiencing difficulty securing a particular skill, they will not be left to fall behind. Instead, extra intervention activities will be provided outside of the phonics lesson to ensure that the child receives the same teaching, but with that particular skill broken down into clear steps. This process helps to maintain a secure understanding and continued progress. Emphasis is placed on those children who may be at risk of falling behind to ensure they are able to successfully access year group expectations. They will continue to be supported by the same Jolly Phonics programme, but learning will be broken down into achievable steps via same day interventions.
Useful Jolly Phonics Resources