What is Phonics?
The teaching and learning of phonics helps children to read skilfully. Children are taught to:
- Recognise the sound that a letter makes
- Identify the sounds that combinations of letters make e.g. sh, oa, nk
- Sound out and then blend together to read a word
- Hear/say a word and segment the sounds to write a word
How is Phonics taught?
We follow the Letters and Sounds scheme published by the Department for Education. In September 2021, we will be using the newly validated scheme 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds'
Children begin by learning the easiest sounds and this gets progressively more difficult. Children are taught to blend and segment early on in Reception, using this skill throughout Year 1 and 2.
Children are also taught 'tricky words'. These are spellings and cannot be sounded out. For example the, little, Mrs.
The different Phases taught in Phonics
Phase 1 - This is typically taught at pre-school. It focuses on speaking and listening skills.
Phase 2 - This is typically taught in Reception. It focuses on introducing children to individual letters and their sounds. Children are also taught to blend for reading and segment for writing. Children are introduced to a small number of tricky words. Letter formation is focused on during this stage.
Phase 3 - This is typically taught in Reception. It introduced further individual letters and their sounds. It also teaches children digraphs and trigraphs (2 or 3 letters with 1 sound). Further focus is placed on developing blending and segmenting skills. Children learn a greater number of tricky words. Children begin to learn about sentence writing.
Phase 4 - This is typically taught in Reception and sometimes in Year 1. No new sounds are introduced. Children develop skills to read multi-syllable words and words with adjacent consonants e.g. frog. Children learn a greater number of trickt words. Children write sentences independently.
Phase 5 - This is typically taught in Year 1. It teaches children alternative ways of saying sounds previously learnt e.g. ai - ay. It also introduces split digraphs e.g. take a-e
Phase 6 - This is typically taught in Year 2. It focuses on becoming better readers and writers.
For more information about our Reading Scheme, please see the English area of our website.