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Phonics

Intent

Our core aims for phonics are to ensure that all children: 

  • Can recognise the 44 graphemes and phonemes in the English language. 

  • Can segment and blend words 

  • Can read a wide range or words and use phonetic knowledge when they encounter a new word. 

  • Can use phonetic awareness to help them to segment words supporting their spelling and writing. 

Implementation 

We believe the following are key ingredients in phonics are: 

There are six phases of phonics in line with the curriculum: 

Phase 1: Activities are divided into seven aspects: Environmental sounds, Instrumental sounds, Body sounds, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration and finally Oral blending and Segmenting 

Phase 2: Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting sounds into separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions 

Phase 3: 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. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the simple code: one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language. 

Phase 4: 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 

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. 

Phase 6: Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters. 

What this looks like in practice:

  • Nursery to year 2 receive 3-5 phonics lessons per week throughout the year. 
  • Nursery focus on Phase 1 and 2.

  • Reception works on phase 2, 3, 4 and 5 with children working to be secure on phase 2 and 3 by the end of Reception. 

  • Year 1 work on Phase 3, 4, and 5 working towards their phonics screener and being secure on phase 5 by the end of the year (some children may still be working on Phase 2). 

  • Year 2 work on Phase 5 and 6, making sure to work with and support any children who did not pass the screener to reduce their phonetic gaps.

  • Each lesson looks at a new sound (phoneme) and the letter associated with the sound (grapheme.) Throughout the lesson children learn the phoneme/grapheme relationship, how to pronounce the sound, how to write the sound and how to apply the sound in both reading and writing a word that contains the sound. 

  • We incorporate the jolly phonics movements into our lesson to help make learning the sounds fun and memorable for the children. 

  • We incorporate talk for learning strategies such as talk partners, spot it and rally robin within our phonics lessons to support discussion on sounds and understanding.  

  • In year 1 the children prepare for their phonics screening. They learn how to segment and blend a range of real and nonsense words to determine their phonics and reading ability. 

  • For our older children and those that struggle with phonics a range of interventions are provided including; phonics groups, toe-by-toe, box dictation and the 5-minute box. 

  • We work to make phonics a multi sensory experience through songs, videos, practice snd hands on activities to support our children learn their phonics especially our SEN students. In years Nursery -1 we also have phonics available in our continuous provision to support learning. 

  • For our SEN children we often work in smaller groups and can take more time on particular sounds to help these become embedded through a range of hands-on and active practices.  

Assessment  

  • Children from Nursery-1 are assessed on their phonetic abilities using formative and summative practices. Teachers observe children during lessons to check understanding and phonetic ability. Children are tested each term on their knowledge of sounds learnt in a letters and sounds phonics assessment and in year 1 children also undertake practice phonics screenings throughout the year.  

  • Children from year 2-6 who did not pass the phonics screening or struggle with phonics are assessed using letters and sounds assessments and past screeners to identify knowledge gaps.  

  • Children from Reception to year 6 complete termly alphabet assessments to assess and support knowledge of the alphabet and sounds. 

Schemes, programme and resources used to support phonics: 

  • Active Learn – Bug Club Phonics 

  • Twinkl 

  • Letters and Sounds resources. 

To find out more about these schemes and programmes, click on the relevant links below: 

Impact:

The impact of our phonics curriculum is as follows: 

  • Year 1 phonics screening results are in line with national. 

  • Children are able to develop the skills needed to hear and identify sounds, blend and segment words and use this knowledge to develop their reading and writing skills. 

SMSC in Phonics:

Phonics is key to developing SMSC. At Sayes Court phonics is used to develop SMSC across the curriculum by helping give children the skills they need to decode and develop the skills they need to read. With a great phonetic ability children are able to enjoy a range of texts that develop their social, moral, spiritual and cultural identifies. 

Human Capital in Phonics  

Through our phonics teaching at Sayes court we aim to support children to develop their independence, ability to problem solve (decoding and blending) and becoming culturally aware of the English language in our area, knowing how we speak and pronounce sounds and words.   

Curriculum Links (National Curriculum/Development Matters) 

 

Nursery 

Reception 

Year 1 

Year 2 

Reading  

Birth – 3 Years  

  • Enjoy songs and rhymes, tuning in and paying attention.  

  • Join in with songs and rhymes, copying sounds, rhythms, tunes and tempo.  

  • Say some of the words in songs and rhymes. Copy finger movements and other gestures.  

  • Sing songs and say rhymes independently, for example, singing whilst playing. 

 

3-4 years  

Understand the five key concepts about print:  

• print has meaning 

 • print can have different purposes 

 • we read English text from left to right and from top to bottom 

 • the names of the different parts of a book 

 • page sequencing 

 

Develop their phonological awareness, so that they can:  

• spot and suggest rhymes • count or clap syllables in a word  

• recognise words with the same initial sound, such as money and mother 

  • Read individual letters by saying the sounds for them. 

  • Blend sounds into words, so that they can read short words made up of known letter– sound correspondences. 

  • Read some letter groups that each represent one sound and say sounds for them. 

  • Read a few common exception words matched to the school’s phonic programme. (Bug Club Phonics) 

  • Read simple phrases and sentences made up of words with known letter–sound correspondences and, where necessary, a few exception words. 

  • Re-read these books to build up their confidence in word reading, their fluency and their understanding and enjoyment. 

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words  

  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes  

  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught  

  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word  

  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings  

  • - read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs 

  • continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent 

  • read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes 

  • read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above  

  • read words containing common suffixes  

  • read further common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word  

  • read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered  

  • read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation  

  •  re-read these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading. 

Writing  

Birth – 3 years  

  • Enjoy drawing freely.  

  • Add some marks to their drawings, which they give meaning to. For example: “That says mummy.”  

  • Make marks on their picture to stand for their name. 

 

3-4 years  

  • Use some of their print and letter knowledge in their early writing. For example: writing a pretend shopping list that starts at the top of the page; writing ‘m’ for mummy.  

  • Write some or all of their name. 

  • Write some letters accurately. 

  • Form lower-case and capital letters correctly 

  • Spell words by identifying the sounds and then writing the sound with letter/s. 

  • Write short sentences with words with known sound-letter correspondences using a capital letter and full stop. 

 

  • words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught 

  • using letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound  

  • write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs and common exception words taught so far. 

  • segmenting spoken words into phonemes and representing these by graphemes, spelling many correctly  

  • learning new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones 

 

Beginning 

Developing 

Embedded 

Phase 1 – Aspect 1 - environmental sounds 

  • Explore the sounds of different animals (cows, dog, cat), including imaginary ones (dragons) 

  • Enjoy experimenting with the sounds different objects can make. 

  • Shows an awareness of sounds in the environment 

  • Begin to hear and make the sounds of different animals (cows, dog, cat), including imaginary ones (dragons) 

  • Encouraged to use language for thinking by answering some open-ended questions such as What does it feel like to be in the tunnel? 

  • Can listen to the sounds in the environment and name some. 

  • Can hear and make the sounds of a range of different animals (cows, dog, cat), including imaginary ones (dragons). 

  • Uses language for thinking by answering some open-ended questions such as What does it feel like to be in the tunnel? 

  • Can identify and show recollection of the difference between sounds.  

Phase 1 – Aspect 2 - instrumental sounds 

  • To experience, explore and learn how sounds can be changed 

  • Use musical instruments to experiment with the sounds they can hear 

  • Develop awareness of the sounds made with instruments and noise makers 

  • Express an opinion about the sounds they have heard 

 

  • Can make simple rhythms 

  • Match sounds to their sources and talk about the sounds they make. 

  • Can use words such as loud, fierce, squeaky, high, low to describe the sounds they hear 

Phase 1 – Aspect 3- body percussion 

  • Listens to action and word songs 

  • Copies sounds and actions including body percussion 

  • Can use simple words to describe the sounds they hear e.g. loud, slow, noisy, quiet 

  • Can help with guidance to group sounds into 2 groups e.g. loud and quiet 

  • Begin to march, stamp and splash to a beat. 

  • Begin to join in with words and actions to familiar songs 

  • Copy patterns of sounds 

  • Can talk about the sounds they hear in simple sentence. ‘Was really loud’. 

  • Begin to group sounds according to different criteria e.g. loud, quiet, fast, slow 

  • Confidently march, stamp and splash to a beat. 

  • Join in with the words and actions to familiar songs  

  • Make up their own patterns of sounds 

  • Use wide vocabulary to talk about the sounds they hear 

  • Can group sounds according to different criteria e.g. loud, quiet, fast, slow 

Phase 1 –Aspect 4 – rhythm and rhyme 

  • Enjoys listening to rhymes 

  • sing or chant a rhyming string along with an adult 

  • begin to complete sentences using appropriate rhyming words 

  • Enjoys listening to rhymes and begins to make their own 

  • Sing or chant a rhyming string along with an adult and begin to recognise the words rhyme 

  • Can clap the sounds on their own names and other familiar objects such as milk/water 

  • Join in with simple or complex rhythms 

  • Complete sentences using appropriate rhyming words 

  • Enjoys listening to rhymes and inventing their own 

  • Develop an awareness of rhythm and rhyme in speech 

  • Understand the pattern of syllables in words and can clap the sound in most words 

  • Copy a rhythm and keep to a beat 

  • Recognise rhyming words 

  • Generate their own rhymes and rhyming strings 

Phase 1 – Aspect 5 - alliteration 

  • Listen to books and phrases that include alliterative rhymes and jingles  

  • Are introduced to alliterative tongue twisters such as she sells seashells.  

  • Begins to match 2 words together that start with the same sound 

  • Begin to join in and copy alliterative tongue twisters such as she sells seashells. 

  • Begin to recognise the initial sounds of words 

  • Begin to identify some initial sounds of words 

  • Can identify when words start with the same sound 

  • Begins to select a range of words that start with the same letter 

  • Can join in and copy alliterative tongue twisters such as she sells seashells, beginning to make their own.  

  • Identify the initial sounds of words and clearly reproduce.  

  • Can recall a list of words/objects that begin with the same sound  

  • Can select an extended range of words that start with the same letter 

Phase 1 – voice sounds 

  • Encouraged to replicate sounds such as ‘drip, bubble, swoosh’ when playing with water or ‘weeee!’ when on the climbing frame 

  • Introduced to words (smooth, frothy, crunchy) to explore the texture of shaving foam, pasta shapes, foamy water etc. 

  • Listen to vocal sounds made by adults or others 

  • Recognise their own voice 

  • Use words (smooth, frothy, crunchy) to describe the texture of shaving foam, pasta shapes, foamy water etc. 

  • Act out familiar stories and copy sound effects such as swish, swish through the long grass. 

  • Begin to distinguish between the difference in vocal sounds 

  • Recognise their own voice and being to recognise the voice of others 

  • Act out familiar stories and use sound effects such as swish, swish through the long grass. 

  • Can distinguish between different vocal sounds they hear 

  • Can listen for a target word or character in a story and respond with an appropriate speech sound 

  • Recognise their own voice and the voices of others 

  • Use appropriate vocabulary to talk about different voices and speech sounds (loud, fast, deep). 

Phase 1 – oral blending and segmenting 

  • Encouraged to repeat the initial sound in words of items they are playing with e.g. when bouncing a ball go ‘b, b, b, b.’ 

  • Begin to say what they are writing out loud 

  • Can hear the first sounds in words and some others 

  • Begin to count the phonemes in cvc words. 

  • Will say their message/writing as they write it down 

  • begin to segment the sound in cvc words orally, in the order sound occur such as cat, god, dad. 

  • Say a word and identify the object that matches 

  • Can count the phonemes in cvc words 

Phase 2 

  • Is beginning to know and recall some phoneme/grapheme correspondence (s,a,t,p,I,n,m,d,g,o,c,k,ck,e,u,r,h,b,f,ff,l,ll,ss) 

  • Can hear and identify some phonemes in a spoken word 

  • Can recall 10 or more phoneme/grapheme correspondence (s,a,t,p,I,n,m,d,g,o,c,k,ck,e,u,r,h,b,f,ff,l,ll,ss) 

  • Can read and spell a range of cv or vc words such as at, as, an, it, in, is, on, up, if, of.  

  • Can read and spell a few cvc words using a limited range of letters e.g. dad, can, not, got 

  • Beginning to recall tricky words to, the, no, go, I , into 

  • Can recall all phase 2 phoneme/grapheme correspondence (s,a,t,p,I,n,m,d,g,o,c,k,ck,e,u,r,h,b,f,ff,l,ll,ss) 

  • Can read and spell cvc words using a wider range of letters and short vowels e.g. mum, big, but, him, back, will 

  • Can recall tricky words to, the, no, go, I, into 

Phase 3 

  • Is beginning to know and recall some phoneme/grapheme correspondence including short vowel, diagraphs and trigraphs. (j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er) 

  • Begins to try to write cvc words using letters and diagraphs e.g. will, that, this, then, them. 

  • Can recognise and read some tricky words (me, be, he, my, by, they, she, we, are, you, her, all, was) 

  • Can recall 10 or more phoneme/grapheme correspondence including short vowel, diagraphs and trigraphs. (j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er) 

  • Can read and spell a wide range of cvc words using letters and diagraphs e.g. will, that, this, then, them, with, look, see, too, for, now down 

  • Can read and write some tricky words (me, be, he, my, by, they, she, we, are, you, her, all, was) 

  • Can recall on phase 3 phoneme/grapheme correspondence including short vowel, diagraphs and trigraphs. (j, v, w, x, y, z, zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er) 

  • Can read and spell a wide range of cvc words using all letters and diagraphs e.g. will, that, this, then, them, with, look, see, too, for, now down 

  • Can recall all phase 3 tricky words (me, be, he, my, by, they, she, we, are, you, her, all, was) 

  •  

Phase 4 

  • Can recognise and read some tricky words (said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what) 

  • Can segment adjacent consonants in words.  

  • Can read and write some tricky words (said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what) 

  • Can segment adjacent consonants in words and apply these in spelling.  

  • Can blend adjacent consonants in words and apply this skill when reading familiar words. 

  • Can read and write all tricky words (said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what) 

  • Can blend adjacent consonants in words and apply this skill when reading unfamiliar words. 

Phase 5 

  • Can read some phonetically decipherable two-syllable and three-syllable words using a limited range of graphemes 

  • Begins to use alternative ways of pronouncing and spelling graphemes 

  • Can spell words using phonetically plausible attempts  

  • Can recall some of the sounds (ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, ew, oe, au, ey, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e) 

  • Can read phonetically decipherable two-syllable and three-syllable words  

  • Can use alternative ways of pronouncing and spelling graphemes corresponding to long vowel phonemes 

  • Can spell complex words using phonetically plausible attemps 

  • Can recall 10 or more of the sounds (ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, ew, oe, au, ey, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e) 

  • Can correctly read two-syllable and three-syllable 

  • Can correctly use alternative ways of pronouncing and spelling graphemes corresponding to long vowel phonemes 

  • Can spell complex words 

  • Can recall and use all of the sounds (ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, ue, aw, wh, ph, ew, ew, oe, au, ey, a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e)  

Phase 6 

  • Apply phonic skills and knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of words 

  • Read an increasing number of high and medium frequency words independently. 

  • Read an increasing number of high and medium frequency words independently and automatically 

  • Read and spell less common alternative graphemes including trigraphs.  

  • Self-correct when reading does not make sense 

  • Read words automatically 

  • Read words by decoding quickly and silently because the sounding and blending routing is well established.  

  • Confidently segments new and unfamiliar words using phonetic knowledge to decode.  

 

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