At The Gateway phonics is taught daily to pupils in Reception and Key Stage 1. We use Letters and Sounds Programme to teach children the letters of the alphabet and their matching sounds for both reading and spelling. Daily lessons are planned using a range of teaching resources including games and interactive online activities. We also use some actions from the Jolly Phonics resource to help children remember the letter sounds.
The children are taught the 44 phonemes in our alphabetic code progressively from the start of the Reception Year and most children will have completed the programme by the end of Year 2. Children are taught how to read words by blending, which means combining the sounds together to make a word. They learn how to spell words by segmenting, which involves sounding out a word and matching the sounds to their letters.
By the end of the Reception Year children are expected to be secure in their knowledge of Phase 3 sounds.
By the end of Year 1 children are expected to know all the Phase 4 and 5 sounds and be applying their phonic knowledge in their writing.
By the end of Year 2 they should be confident to read and spell words from Phase 5 and Phase 6 and will be moving on to more complex knowledge of spelling rules and patterns.
As children move through Key Stage 2 they will continue to learn a wider range of spelling rules and letter patterns to ensure they become fluent confident spellers.
The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
At the end of Year 1, children's phonics skills are assessed using the National Phonics Screening Check. They are required to read 20 real and 20 nonsense words to assess their ability to decode words phonetically. We call these nonsense words 'alien words' and children will practise these in their phonics lessons in Year R and Year 1.
Help at Home
Some good websites to help your child practise their phonics skills at home are:
www.letters and sounds.com
At The Gateway we promote the enjoyment of reading and encourage children to develop a life-long love of books.
In school we have a wide range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books for children to immerse themselves and enjoy their reading experiences every day.
All children take part in a dedicated reading session in class every day known as 'quiet reading time'. In these sessions children will take part in guided reading, complete comprehension tasks, read online books or read independently. The class teacher also reads to the children and promotes a range of authors and classic novels through their teaching of the English Curriculum.
In the Early Years and KS1 we use Oxford Reading Tree as a core teaching resource. This is supplemented by a range of other well-known reading schemes and picture books to ensure our children read widely and have access to both fiction and non-fiction books. In KS2 children's comprehension and reading stamina is developed through reading longer novels, plays, poetry and a wide range of non-fiction texts.
At The Gateway we expect children to read at home on a regular basis and it forms a key component of our home learning expectations. Children can change their books every day and keep a reading log to record their reading at home.
In the Early Years and KS1 children will take home a scheme book (graded to their stage of development) to practise their reading skills at home. They also take home a picture book for parents to read to them to ensure they have every opportunity to develop their language skills and enjoy a shared reading experience. By reading regularly at home children are much more likely to develop early fluency and become life-long readers.
In KS2 reading at home remains part of children's home learning tasks. Even when children become fluent independent readers we will still encourage reading together and discussing the book to secure good comprehension skills.