Phonics is the first strategy in helping children to read and write as it teaches them to identify the small sounds in a word, called phonemes. Children will then be taught to put the phonemes together when reading (blending) and to break a word into smaller sounds to help them spell it (segmenting). Phonics is a very crucial part of teaching reading and writing in both the Early Years and Key Stage One. At St Barnabas and St Paul's, we use the Letters and Sound scheme of work to support planning.
In the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, children must be able to use their phonic knowledge to read and spell in order to achieve the Early Learning Goals for Literacy at the end of Reception. Phonics is also mentioned in the National Curriculum, which explains that high-quality phonics teaching allows children to speedily decode both familiar and unfamiliar words, accurately using their phonic knowledge and skills. All children must also be taught to read and write ‘common exception words’ that cannot be decoded through sounding out.
At St Barnabas and St Paul’s, we recognise the importance of all children receiving effective and interesting phonics lessons for 20 minutes every day throughout Reception and Key Stage One. We strongly believe that consistent, high-quality phonics lessons ensure all children are able to develop the fundamental, life-long skills of reading and writing, and allow them to continue on a successful learning journey throughout their lives. All children will be introduced to the 44 phonemes and their corresponding graphemes (letters) in exciting and engaging lessons, which incorporate songs, actions, games and quick activities. Phonics will be delivered by knowledgeable and skilled teachers who will adapt their lessons so that all children are sufficiently challenged and supported as necessary. We believe that children need plenty of opportunities to practise and apply their phonological skills whenever possible, including during the teaching of other lessons and when learning at home, if they are to become successful learners. In order to ensure that children are able to flourish in reading and writing, we provide home reading books that are closely linked to the phonological phase of each child, and offer phonics meetings to help parents support their children’s development at home. As a school, we continually strive to provide all of our children with the very best phonological knowledge, which will allow them to develop and thrive throughout their education.
“Learning to read is like learning to run. The more you practise, the faster you become.” Sophie Carter