At Sladefield Infant School, we follow Letters and Sounds, a detailed and systematic program for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by age seven. There are six overlapping phases. Children have daily phonics lessons, where they are taught in small groups according to which phase they are currently working at. They are assessed regularly so that they can move onto the next phase when they are ready.
A summary of each Phonics phase:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.
Phonics Screening Check
A statutory phonics screening check is taken by every Year One child in June. Any Year Two children who did not pass the screening when they were in Year One will retake the check.
The phonics screening check is designed to give teachers and parents’ information on how their child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether a child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.
Synthetic phonics is not the only reading strategy we use to help children learn to read. We give children regular opportunities to practise reading sight high frequency words and words that cannot be read by sounding out.
Here is a video Mr Ur-Rehman made to demonstrate the phonic sounds made by letters of the alphabet