Phonics is prioritised at Southglade in Foundation and Key Stage One as the fundamental building blocks to enable reading to be developed throughout school
Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes, or letter groups).
At Southglade Primary and Nursery School, we prioritise the teaching of Early Reading and Phonics. It forms the basis of our lessons throughout all topics across the curriculum in both Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Our main aim is to ensure every single child becomes primary literate and develops the necessary skills to leave Key Stage One with the ability to fluently decode a wide range of enriching and engaging texts at an age appropriate level and beyond.
We have developed a curriculum where reading is the priority across all subjects, acting as the ‘golden thread’ which weaves throughout all planning. Through this ‘golden thread’ we aim to provide children with secure comprehension and fluency skills, and expose them to a diverse range of vocabulary. We recognise in order to achieve this, it is essential that phonics is secure in Key Stage One.
We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme which provides skills to allow children to have consistent strategies to support with accurate decoding.
Our Phonics Philosophy
At Southglade, we believe in the approach of 'Keep up, not catch up' when working through our phonics scheme. We therefore expose all children to all sounds regardless of ability. This ensures all children have the best chance to succeed and develop their reading fluency skills.
We understand it is essential to know where each child is with their phonics development. We carry out daily assessments during the phonics sessions using adults to target children during the session. We carry out bespoke interventions during 1:1 reading time based on a gap analysis of sounds which is completed after each phase has been taught. Children in Year 1 and those who have not passed the phonics screening in Year 2 also complete a phonics screening check practice four times throughout the year. Children also read phonetically decodable books during their 1:1 reading sessions and these are also sent home as their reading book.
Our Phonics Structure
Phonics is structured in to Phases starting with phase 1 moving through to phase 6. We begin teaching phonics in Early Years within 2 weeks of starting in September and within the first week in Key Stage One.
Each child receives a 20 minute lesson 4 days a week with the 5th day being used for common exception word practice, consolidation and a weekly phonics spelling test.
Each class teacher will teach the class the phonics sound of the day, with TA's supporting any child who may need a slightly altered or differentiated approach. In a session this may be working with a few identified children on a given sound at a slower or more in depth pace (usually the TA would take these children out the lesson and work on the same sound at this pace with the child, but in the current situation of COVID 19, we are not able to do it). We use sound flashcards when reading and during the revisit at the start of each session based on the gap analysis.
Nursery: Phase 1 moving to initial sounds of Phase 2
Reception: Phase 2 - Phase 4
Year 1: Phase 5 and Phase 5 alternatives
Year 2: Phase 6
COVID AMENDMENT (2020-2021)
Year 1 - completing Phase 3, Phase 5 and Phase 5 alternatives
Year 2 - completing Phase 5, Phase 5 alternatives, Phase 6
Working with parents
We know it is essential to work with parents to ensure they are able to work with and support their child at home with their phonics development. We send home a phonetically decodable book for children to read with their parents which supports consolidating the phonics sounds they have learnt.
Usually we would offer a parent workshop for each year group where we would teach a phonics lesson and allow parents to come to observe and ask questions, however, due to COVID, this cannot happen. We will therefore support other ways to support parents including sending home a parent pack and recording the key information for a phonics session for parents to watch.