St Peter's Church of England Primary School

Cromwell Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7SG

0113 2934411

liz.holliday@stpeterscofe.org.uk

Phonics

 

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write.  It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.  Phonics teaching provides a thorough and systematic approach to children learning to hear the 44 speech sounds, blend them together into words and segment words into sounds for writing.

The ‘Letters and Sounds’ document is followed with small adaptations made to the progression of the scheme to enable it to link more closely to the Jelly & Bean phonics reading scheme.

 

Phonics is taught through 6 phases:

Phase 1, which is mainly taught in Nursery, focuses on and links closely to the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning in EYFS. The activities in Phase 1 are mainly adult-led and focus on 7 main aspects:

Aspect 1:             General sound discrimination – environmental sounds

Aspect 2:             General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds

Aspect 3:             General sound discrimination – body percussion

Aspect 4:             Rhythm and rhyme

Aspect 5:             Alliteration

Aspect 6:             Voice sounds

Aspect 7:             Oral blending and segmenting

By the end of Phase 1, children will have experienced a range of listening activities, including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to provide a string of rhyming words.

 

Phase 2, which is mainly taught in Reception, teaches at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters.

 

Letters are taught in the following order*:

s

a

t

p

i

n

c

m

h

o

b

g

d

f

k

ck

 

 

e

u

r

f

ff

l

ll

ss

 

 

*We have slightly altered the order of the letters taught to fit in with the Jelly & Bean phonics reading scheme.

By the end of the Phase 2 many children should be able to read some VC (e.g. it, at, in) and CVC words (e.g. hat, but, pin) and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read some ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no, I, into. (Tricky words are those words which cannot be sounded out easily).  Individual reading books from the Jelly & Bean Scheme are given once the first 9 sounds are secure and children are beginning to blend and segment.

 

Phase 3, also taught mainly in Reception, teaches another 25 graphemes (a written symbol that represents a sound or phoneme), most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children will know around 42 phonemes. 

Letters are taught in the following order:

j

v

w

x

y

z

zz

qu

 

Graphemes taught include:

ch

(chip)

igh

(night)

sh

(shop)

ear

(dear)

th

(then)

er

(corner)

ng

(ring)

or

(for)

ai

(rain)

ur

(hurt)

ee

(feet)

ure

(sure)

oa

(boat)

oi

(coin)

oo

(look)

air

(fair)

ar

(farm)

ow

(cow)

 

Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these word:  he, she, we, my, was, you.

By the end of Phase 3, children will be able to represent each of 42 phonemes by a grapheme, and be able to blend phonemes to read CVC words and segment CVC words for spelling. They will have some experience in reading simple two-syllable words and captions.

 

Phase 4 is taught mainly in Year 1 and the purpose of this phase is to consolidate what the children have already learned. They use their knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.

Phase 5 is also taught mainly in Year 1 and the purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes such as:

 

ay

(day)

ue

(blue)

ph

(photo)

ew

(new)

oy

(boy)

i-e

(like)

wh

(when)

ea

(eat)

a-e

(make)

aw

(saw)

ou

(out)

oe

(toe)

ir

(girl)

au

(Paul)

e-e

(these)

o-e

(home)

ie

(tie)

u-e

(rule)

 

They will also learn alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know:

i

fin, find

ou

out, shoulder, could, you

ea

eat, bread

g

got, giant

ow

cow, blow

er

farmer, her

y

yes, by, very

u

but, put (south)

o

hot, cold

a

hat, what

ie

tie, field

c

cat, cent

ch

chin, school, chef

 

 

               

Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent.

By the end of Phase 5, children should know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways:

  • reading the words automatically if they are very familiar;
  • decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;
  • decoding them aloud.

Children’s spelling should be phonically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times. During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers

Phase 6 is taught mainly in Year 2. During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

The past tense is taught in this phase e.g. Now I am looking but yesterday I looked. Common suffixes are also covered:

Common suffixes taught in Phase 6 include:

-s and -es

added to nouns and verbs, as in cats, runs, bushes, catches

-ed and -ing

added to verbs, as in hopped, hopping, hoped, hoping

-ful

added to nouns, as in careful, painful, playful, restful, mouthful

-er

 

added to verbs to show the person doing the action and to adjectives to give the comparative form, as in runner, reader, writer, bigger, slower

-est

added to adjectives, as in biggest, slowest, happiest, latest

-ly

added to adjectives to form adverbs, as in sadly, happily, brightly, lately

-ment

added to verbs to form nouns, as in payment, advertisement, development

-ness

added to adjectives to form nouns, as in darkness, happiness, sadness

-y

added to nouns to form adjectives, as in funny, smoky, sandy

 

When is phonics taught?

Phonics is taught daily in EYFS and Year 1. In Year 2, phonics sessions gradually progress to include opportunities to develop Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling skills (GPS). The length of the sessions steadily builds over time in Nursery. In other classes, discrete phonics sessions last for 15-20 minutes with some aspects being built upon in English sessions and Spelling sessions.

 

How is phonics taught?

Phonics sessions are based on the sequence suggested in ‘Letters and Sounds’:

 

Revisit & Review

Teach

Practise

Apply

 

We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme in addition to using aspects of the ‘Jolly Phonics’ scheme. We also use ‘Phonics Play’ for online phonics materials and the ‘Jelly and Bean’ intervention to support children with individual needs.   

Towards the end of Year 1, children are assessed using the statutory Phonics Screening Check. This involves them using their phonic skills to read 40 words, some of which are real and some are made-up.

 

What happens if a child is not making expected progress in phonics?

If a child is not making expected progress in phonics they will be targeted for additional support. This may involve small group or individual sessions with experienced and skilled staff. Children in Year 1 who are working well-below expected levels, or who have specific needs, will follow the ‘Jelly and Bean’ phonics intervention which is a multi-sensory approach to phonics and supports auditory and visual memory skill development.

If a child does not reach the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, they will be targeted for additional support in Year 2 and will repeat the check towards the end of Year 2. If any children don’t meet the expected standard by the end of Year 2 they will be targeted for intensive support in Year 3 using the SENIT Phonics Programme and are likely to have and Individual Support Plan.

 

How does the reading scheme support phonic skills?

Our reading scheme for Reception and KS1 has a strong phonics focus and provides decodable reading books for children to practise and develop their phonic skills. We use the ‘Jelly and Bean’ reading scheme along with the ‘Collins Big Cat’ reading scheme which provides a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books.  We also use the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ Scheme in guided reading along with books from the Rigby scheme.

How do we involve parents in supporting their children with phonics?

Teachers in Reception and Year 1 meet with parents to explain how we teach phonics in school. Phonic based games and activities are sent home to encourage parents to work with their children. Our Parental Support Adviser (PSA) also organises sessions for parents to provide guidance and fun ideas to support them with their child’s learning.

(Information in this document has been taken from ‘Letters and Sounds’ DFE publication)