Whole School Phonics

                  Great Bentley Primary School - Phonics

My name is Miss Sargent. I have been working in St Anne (Stanley) for 6 years although I did some supply in Nursery 8 years ago. I absolutely love working in this school. The children and staff are all amazing and I love seeing their smiles every day.

I have been teaching in Year 1 since starting at St Anne (Stanley) and love this age group. I have previously worked in Nursery and Reception in different schools and from my experience I know how important it is to have exciting lessons so that the children learn new things every single day.

I am responsible for leading Phonics in our school and it is my favourite subject.  I think Phonics is so important because without it we would struggle with our reading and writing in every subject. However, we make sure we have lots of fun, learning Phonics, by doing different types of activities and games that keep us active and involved in our learning.

 At St Anne (Stanley) we know that Phonics is a life skill. We want children to understand that reading and writing is something that they will use in every area of their lives and that Phonics is just the beginning of this.  We have worked hard to ensure that Phonics is taught to a high standard in every classroom. Teachers, TAs, and all other staff model how Phonics impacts life by talking about how we use reading and writing skills at home, when out shopping, cooking, travelling and even when doing our favourite sports for example.

We use a scheme called Letter and Sounds for our Phonics. This ensures that every child is given a strong, high quality, structured, daily lesson in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 2. To ensure that we have a multisensory approach to our teaching, I have recently implemented the use of Twinkl Phonics. This provides all staff and children with a wide variety of activities, stories and games which are used to support our reading and writing.

I understand how important it is for parents to be able to help their child/children at home and that Phonics can be a difficult concept for them. I have been able to provide Nursery and Reception parents, alongside Mrs Riley our Early Years Coordinator, with information sessions about how we teach Phonics in St Anne (Stanley) as well as making booklets that give tips on how they help their child/children at home. In Year 1, children undertake a Phonic Screening Check. I also provided an information session about this and the staff provide packs of activities that can be used at home. Our website has videos and information about Phonics that all can access.

In school, we have to ensure that children are reading at a level that is appropriate for them and to do this we regularly assess their phonic knowledge and recognition of key words, from Reception upwards. We provide home reading books that are linked to their phonic understanding as well as books that children can read for pleasure. As a school, we think that it is so important to have a love of reading so we want to ensure every child gets the opportunity to participate with enjoyable, exciting books that they can read independently.

I enjoy reading and read every night. My favourite authors are Stephen King and James Patterson but I absolutely love reading books, like the Gruffalo or Class Two at the zoo, to the children every day in school. It is such an important skill to have and we aim to have all children at St Anne (Stanley) reading by the time they leave and head off to pastures new.

Vision

St Anne (Stanley) CE School is a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment where we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture.

Intent

At St Anne (Stanley) we provide a high quality Phonics curriculum, underpinned by our school values, that is designed to be inspiring, inclusive and practical to ensure that every child is engaged and supported to help them achieve their fullest potential. We belief that all children should get the best teaching possible in this crucial area so we deliver the important skills and knowledge of phonics through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach to ensure all children achieve and succeed to their highest potential. This approach has been shown to provide a quick and efficient way for most young children to learn to read and write words on the page, fluently and accurately and we endeavour for children to develop this skill so that it becomes automatic.  ‘The ability to read is the key to educational achievement and our Oxford Reading Tree and Phonics Bug reading schemes fully support our phonics programme. ‘Without a basic foundation in literacy, children cannot gain access to a rich and diverse curriculum. Poor literacy limits opportunities not only at school, but throughout life, both economically and in terms of a wider enjoyment and appreciation of the written word’. (Education and Skills Committee). 

Implementation

To ensure that each child develops the skills and knowledge to be able to read and write in St Anne (Stanley), we use a systematic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds linked with School Improvement Liverpool KS1 Phonics in year 1 and 2. We supplement this with activities, games, stories, reading and writing from Twinkl Phonics as a multi-sensory approach.

Letters and Sounds is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are words with spellings that are unusual and cannot be segmented or blended (sounded out).

School Improvement Liverpool KS1 Phonics is a medium term planning document for Year 1 and Year 2 Phonics to support effective implementation of the National Curriculum. This document replaces Phases 5 and 6 of Letters and Sounds. As well as new learning, there is a key focus on consolidation to ensure that children have the opportunities to practise and embed their phonic knowledge, building on their knowledge and understanding to apply these skills in their independent reading and writing.

Twinkl Phonics is a scheme of work that covers all the statutory requirements outlined on the 2014 National Curriculum for synthetic phonics-based reading and writing and can complement the DFES Letter and Sounds document or be used as a stand-alone programme.

Each Phonics lesson includes the following sections:

Revise – Over-learn the previous graphemes and words

Teach – Introduce a new grapheme / words

Practise – Develop GPCs (grapheme phoneme correspondences) /read and spell new words

Apply – Use the new graphemes / words in games and activities to secure knowledge

Assess – Monitor progress within each phase to inform planning.

At St. Anne (Stanley), when children enter Nursery they take part in high-quality phonics sessions every day. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games, where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. From a very early stage, children develop awareness of different sounds in spoken language. They develop understanding that spoken words are made up of different sounds (phonemes) and they learn to match these phonemes to letters (graphemes).

In Reception, Letters and Sounds is taught through a daily, discrete phonics session for a twenty-minute period to ensure that all children are reaching their full potential within a challenging and supportive environment. Phonics skills are also embedded in writing and reading tasks in small group sessions throughout the day.

By Year 1, most children have become more confident in their reading and phonic ability and move onto Year 1 phonics. The children have access to high quality, daily, discrete phonics sessions for twenty-five minutes to ensure all children reach their full potential.

As well as new learning, there is a key focus on consolidation to ensure that children have the opportunities to practise and embed their phonic knowledge, building on their knowledge and understanding to apply these skills in their independent reading and writing.

Phonics is still taught daily throughout Year 2 in our school, however, there is a greater emphasis on the spelling strategies. When spelling words, children will learn to choose the correct spelling patterns to represent the sounds in words. Good phonics knowledge and skills help all children to read words fluently and spell words confidently, but they need to understand what they are reading and understand the processes and purposes for writing too.

Children who have not reached the expected level by the end of their year will have extra individual phonics support with Rapid Phonics and Booster sessions. In KS2, phonics is used as an intervention for those who have not reached the expected standard at the end of year 2. These sessions will work alongside discrete SPAG lessons and guided reading.

Impact

At St Anne (Stanley) the purpose of monitoring and evaluation activities is to raise the overall quality of teaching and levels of pupil attainment. The quality of teaching and learning throughout the school is consistently monitored through book scrutiny, lesson observations, learning walks and pupil voice. Children are assessed half termly by class teachers to ensure that structured intervention can take place as soon as necessary.

To guarantee that progress is made for all children in Phonics, the staff at St Anne (Stanley) ensure that we follow the teaching sequence of Letters and Sounds. We are able to embed the knowledge required through the teaching sequence and provide exciting opportunities for all children to be actively participating. We consistently build on the children’s prior learning to deepen their understanding and build confidence in their own ability to read and write and to use their skills and knowledge in all areas of the curriculum.  As a result, we expect most children to be secure in their knowledge of Phase 3 and working competently within Phase 4 by the end of Reception, Year 1 will have completed Phase 4 and Year 1 phonics in order to successfully complete the Statutory Phonics Screening Check and be ready to begin Year 2 Phonics upon entry into Year 2 and Year 2 will successfully complete Year 2 Phonics while revisiting earlier phases to reinforce previous learning and to also re-experience ‘tricky words’ that they have encountered before.

Our whole school progression map shows in detail what we expect our children at St Anne (Stanley) to achieve in each year group in phonics and early reading.   

Whole school progression map

Phonics Policy 2019 -20

We want our parents to be involved in the children’s learning of Phonics at home as well as in school. Have a look at our phonics booklet to help you understand how phonics is taught in St Anne (Stanley). This will show you some activities for each phase and some ideas about how you can help your child at home. Phonics Booklet

We have attached some videos that may support you below. Please take a look at them. 

In our school, we use the correct vocabulary to teach the children Phonics. Here is a video to explain what they mean.

This is a video to show you how we teach children (and adults) how to pronounce the phonemes (sounds). Pronouncing the phonemes correctly, supports the children in their reading and writing from the beginning of their early reading journey.

Once children know the phonemes (sounds) they can start to blend them together to say and read words. here is a video showing you how we do this

Support for Phonics

If you would like to support your child further at home, here are some websites and Apps that you could use.

Websites

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk

http://www,teachyourmonstertoread.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/breakthruchris

http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html

http://www.letters-and-sounds.com

https://hwb.gov.wales/search?query=alphabet&strict=true&popupUri=%2FResource%2F54457be7-7b05-45b0-bc52-d5c2dcaa49eb

http://www.bigbrownbear.co.uk/magneticletters

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/hear_the_sounds/hear_the_sounds_1.htm

https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/at-school/primary-school-assessment-tests/year-1-phonics-screening-check/

https://www.phonicsbloom.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_qs3c0ehDvZkbiEbOj6Drg

Apps

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/jolly-phonics-lessons/id1149029299

https://readingeggs.co.uk/apps/eggy-phonics/

https://www.readwithphonics.com/app

https://www.nessy.com/uk/apps/

Do you have any questions or queries about phonics in St Anne (Stanley)? Please speak to Miss Sargent (Phonics Lead) or your child’s class teacher.