We deliver a daily phonics session in synthetic phonics. We use the Letters and Sounds document for our pace and planning and we use resources for a multi-sensory approach to our teaching.
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
There are six overlapping phases. In Foundation Stage (Reception) we work on phases one to four.
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
We regularly carry out individual phonics assessments to track progress and attainment.
We aim to work in partnership with parents and invite all parents to a phonics/reading meeting at the start of their Foundation year. In addition we send home phonics homework home each week to consolidate the learning from each week’s sessions.
Reading in Foundation Stage (Reception)
We work towards developing children’s reading and love of books. We share a range of quality texts together during story times and shared reading. Staff focus on developing children’s spoken language and teaching them to read using systematic synthetic phonics. Children have phonetically decodable books which are shared with a member of the reception team each week. Parents are encouraged to share these books at home with their child and to write comments in the reading record. Reading books are arranged into levelled bookbands which correspond with phonics phases.
Children make progress at different rates and they will progress through the levels at different speeds. Most children transfer into Year One on red, yellow or blue bookband books.
Band - Lilac Phonic phase 1
Band - Pink Phonic phase 2
Band - Red Phonic Phase 3
Band - Yellow Phonic Phase 3/4
Band - Blue Phonic Phase 4/5
The children also visit the school library, together with the reading morning for parents on Fridays when the children select a book to take home.