Phonics is taught from the beginning of Nursery through to the end of KS1 (Year 2) and beyond for those children in KS2 who it is deemed necessary for.
EYFS – Children will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to provide a string of rhyming words.
The children will then learn letters, and we'll move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. Many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them. During Reception they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no.
Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.
Year 1 – Children will consolidate their knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.
Year 1/ 2 – Children will broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words.
Year 2 – By now the children should be:
reading the words automatically if they are very familiar;
decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;
decoding them aloud.
Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times.
Children will become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
How are phonics taught to my child?
Children will have discrete phonics teaching input daily by teachers and support staff available and utilised for smaller group work as necessary.. The sessions last between ten and twenty minutes. There will also be constant and enhanced activities within the environment available for children to explore independently throughout the day in EYFS.
Our Phonics Teaching and Learning Policy below will contain more detail.
What terms do I need to know to support my child?
The language for teaching phonics is specific. Here is a glossary of some common terms, if you have any specific questions please contact you teacher or our phonics leader - Miss Coulam
Phonics is the knowledge of how alphabetic sounds work and how these sounds are combined to correspond to the spoken word.
It includes the skills of blending for reading and segmentation for spelling.
Blending is the skill of building words by merging phonemes together – this is used when reading words.
Segmentation is breaking down a word into its component phonemes –this is used when spelling words.
Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in a word. It is generally accepted that there are different phonemes in the English language.
Graphemes are the written symbol of a phoneme.
Digraphs are phonemes written with two letters
Trigraphs are phonemes written with three letters
Split digraphs are two letters that make one sound, but the letters are not adjacent in a word (they are split by another letter e.g. i_e as in time).
High Frequency Words are the most commonly used words in the English language and if children can master these.
Alien words are made up words to test children’s ability to blend.
What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?
At the end of Year 1 there is a statutory phonics check which takes place in June. Children in Year 2 who did not meet the expected standard in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, will be reassessed in Year 2.
To support children’s progress in Year 1 towards the required standard for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check children are assessed periodically throughout the year using previous years’ test materials.
This is a test of children’s ability to blend and read using the 44 phonemes. They are asked to read a series of real and nonsense or ‘alien’ words.
How can I support my child at home?
This link provides videos to support parents’ understanding of phonics, frequently asked questions about the Year 1 phonics screening and audio clips of how to pronounce each of the 44 phonemes (sounds).
These links are to games and activities parents can use with their children to support their phonic learning in school:
Where else can I get information?
Please feel free to contact either our Phonic and English Lead Teacher - Miss Coulam or make an appointment to speak with your child's class teacher.