Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Reading and Phonics

Letters and Sounds

Our Phonics scheme is Letters and Sounds. 

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. 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 different phases used in this scheme which the academy follows:

Phase Phonic Knowledge and Skills
One (Nursery/Reception)   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.
Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks 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.
Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks 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.
Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks 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.
Five (Throughout Year 1) Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)  Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

 

 

Letters and Sounds: Whole School Approach

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.

You can find out more about the Letters and Sounds scheme and download all appropriate learning resources directly from their website

  • Lively and vigorous teaching of synthetic phonics.
  • Extremely well resourced and thought out programme.
  • Designed so children can apply the specific sound they’ve been taught in a reading and writing context.
  • Children are taught to decode and encode, taught to comprehend and compose out loud.
  • Highly supportive planning give deliverers practical, day-to-day guidance.

Planning

Pupils work within ability groups which are defined by their progress through each phase. Pupil’s progress is regularly checked and groups amended accordingly.  Teacher generated planning is minimized as the planning is integrated into the teacher’s handbooks and follows set routines. Each group leader has a printed format for planning sessions. To this framework, is added the particular phoneme or grapheme being studied, new phonic elements that are being introduced and any other points worthy of note for future use as well as an area to comment on the progress made in the session to inform the following day’s group.

Teachers and TA’s are be responsible for planning for their groups, with the support of the Early Years Leader as required.

Delivery of Phonics

  • Initial sounds are to be taught in a specific order.
  • Sounds taught should be ‘pure’ ie ‘b’, not ‘buh’ as this is central to phonic teaching and ability to recognise sounds in words.
  • Blends are to be declustered. eg bl is two specific sounds.
  • Children are to be taught that the number of graphemes in a word always corresponds to the number of phonemes. This greatly aids spelling.
  • Phase 2 sounds are to be taught after Phase 1 (initial sounds)
  • Letter names are to be introduced alongside the grapheme.