Phonics Curriculum Intent
This subject statement should be taken in context with the reading/English curriculum. Phonics is the route to early decoding and fluency. It is taught within a reading rich environment where children develop comprehension skills and a love of reading.
Pupils are taught the fundamental skills and knowledge of the alphabetic code through synthetic systematic phonics teaching. These skills allow all children regardless of background, needs or abilities to learn to read. All pupils, including the weakest readers make progress and meet age related expectations.
All-Saints School believes that synthetic systematic phonics teaching is the route for children to learn to read. We follow the DFE Letters and Sounds programme supplemented by schemes such as Jolly Phonics and phonics play.
- All-Saints school expects children in nursery to be secure in phase 1 with an emphasis on aspect 7 in the term before starting reception so that all children are aware of sounds and can orally blend and segment.
- All-Saints School expects children in the reception class to be secure in phase 2 no later than February, secure in phase 3 no later than March and secure at phase 4 no later than June of the reception year.
- All-Saints School expects children in year 1 to be secure in phase 5a no later than February, phase 5b no later than March and phase 5c no later than June.
- All-Saints school expects children to be secure in phase 6 by the end of year 2. These expectations are taught in Year 2 through the No Nonsense spelling scheme which is for Year 2.
- It is expected than many children will reach some of these milestones earlier.
- Early handwriting and spelling is taught through phonics.
All-Saints School believes that following this progression of skills all pupils can become successful readers and achieve the building blocks of resilience, confidence and knowledge necessary to enable them to become successful learners.
In the Reception Class and Key Stage 1: Systematic, synthetic phonics is the first and foremost strategy for teaching reading and spelling. The teaching of Phonics will follow the teaching sequence set out in Letters and Sounds (the Primary National Strategy 2007 programme), supported primarily by resources from Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play at the discretion of the teacher.
High quality phonics sessions are taught daily in Reception and Key Stage 1 classes, enhanced by a multi-sensory teaching approach, aware of different learning styles including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.
The teaching format of revisit, teach, practise, apply is used to plan lessons which are fun, fast paced and differentiated to the needs of pupils. This is the format advocated by Letters and Sounds and replicated in Phonics Play.
Phonics is taught through a balance of direct whole-class teaching, small-group teaching, partner work and play. In the reception classes, whole class teaching is used to teach new sounds with smaller groups giving opportunity for children to practise skills learned. Where children are assessed as unable to access whole class teaching initially, they will be given additional support and discussed with the phonics lead and SENCo. Children not secure in phase 2 are able to go onto phase 3 with their class but then will have differentiated group time to practise skills at a level which benefits their learning.
Pupils will follow the Letters and Sounds progression of word lists and high frequency words. For children who can successfully read the words, the lists are sent home weekly following the progression of sounds taught. Children who are not secure with the word list will be given extra practise at school and at home until they are secure and can move on.
Phonemes taught will have their sound stories added to google classrooms with guidance on correct formation and links to how the phoneme should sound.
Early readers will follow a phonics based reading scheme which follows the graphemes/phonemes that have been taught. Children will be given opportunity in school and at home to practise and apply the skills of blending and grapheme/phoneme correspondence through a well matched phonics scheme which will allow them to become confident and fluent readers. The main scheme used in All-Saints is Pearson Bug Club but this is supplemented with other schemes such as Songbirds and Read Write Inc.
Assessment in the Early Years and KS1 is ongoing and formative.
Reading progression through word lists and phonics books is tracked on individual reading records throughout reception, KS1 and into KS2 when necessary.
Teachers track pupil progress through Letters and Sounds assessment grids and All-Saints tracking which feeds into school data, updated termly and is discussed in pupil progress meetings. Tracking continues until pupils are secure at phase 6 regardless of key stage.
Tracking allows teachers to quickly identify any child who is falling behind. Those children are given targeted intervention to ensure they continue to progress. Interventions are in addition to the daily phonics sessions. These are taught by skilled phonics practitioners.
Phonics tracking forms part of the transition dialogue between reception and KS1 teachers.
Consistency to the scheme outlined is understood to be highly important. All classes are consistent in how they teach, the progression of skills and resources they use so that children’s experiences are built seamlessly and consistently on previous learning.
Phonics is the route to successful writing. Handwriting and spelling are linked to phonics teaching with letter formation being taught at the same time as the graphemes learned. Through phonics teaching children are taught to write simple sentences and more by the end of Reception. They can master the spelling of phonically regular words and common exception words. Teachers pay good attention to children’s posture and pencil grip when children write. Children use pencils and exercise books, while sitting at tables, to support good, controlled letter formation.
All-Saints School takes professional development seriously. Internal training programmes are provided in phonics through practice sessions, peer coaching and mentoring, team teaching and observation. NQTs are supported by leaders through in house training programmes. External experts are brought in when needed and are followed up by subject leaders through in-class support regularly so new skills become part of day to day practice.
By following the steps outlined in the intention:
Children will learn to read fluently as quickly as possible.
82% of children will pass the phonics test in June 2021.
Children in year 3 and above will be able read age appropriate books.
The lowest attaining readers are identified quickly and given targeted intervention so they make rapid progress.
- Year 1- phase 5 plus statutory requirements of curriculum. Those requirements differing from phase 5 are outlined below.
- The tch sound.
- Adding s and es to words (plural of nouns and the third person singular of verbs)
- Adding er and est to adjectives where no change is needed to the root word.
- Words ending –y (phase 6)
- Using k for the k sound.
- Compound words.
- Common exception words.
- End of Year 2-pupils to be secure in phase 6 of Letters and Sounds and have covered the additional spelling requirements of the curriculum outlined below.
- The s sound spelt c before e i and y.
- The n sound spelt kn and gn at the beginning of words.
- The r sound spelt wr at the beginning of words.
- The l or el sound spelt le at the end of words.
- The l or el sound spelt al at the end of words.
- Words ending in il.
- The igh sound spelt y at the end of words.
- The or sound spelt a before l or ll.
- The u sound spelt o.
- The i sound spelt ey.
- The o sound spelt a after w and qu.
- The er sound spelt or after w.
- The or sound spelt ar after w.
- The suffixes, ment, ness, and less.
- The possessive apostrophe.
- Homophones and near homophones.
- Common exception words.