At Christ Church C of E Primary School, we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics should be taught effectively through a systematic and structured phonics programme. The programme we have selected is based around our core values: Successful Happy Included Nurtured Enriched and caters for all our children in Focus Provision, Early Years, Key Stage 1 and those children who require phonic support in Key Stage 2.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a very specific sequence from Phase 1 – 6, that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school.
Phase 1 (also known as ‘The Foundations for Phonics)
This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills. Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy.
In Phase 1 children will have the opportunity to:
- Tune into environmental sounds
- Listen carefully to Instrumental sound
- Copy and create Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
- Explore to rhythm and rhyme
- Explore alliteration
- Participate in oral blending and segmenting (e.g. hearing that d-o-g makes ‘dog’)
In Phase 2 children will have the opportunity to:
Practise letter recognition for reading and recall for spelling
- Practise oral blending and segmentation
- Practise blending for reading VC and CVC words
- Practise VC and CVC words for spelling
- Learn to read and spell some high-frequency common words
- Explore two-syllable words for reading
In Phase 3 children will have the opportunity to:
- Learn letter names
- Practise grapheme recognition for reading and spelling, including exposure to further digraphs and trigraphs
- Continue to practise blending for reading
- Continue to practise segmentation for spelling
- Continue to practise reading and spelling high frequency words
- Explore reading and spelling two-syllable words
- Experiment and practise reading and writing captions and sentences
In Phase 4 children will have the opportunity to:
- Practise reading and spelling CVCC words (‘bump', 'nest', ‘belt,’ ‘milk’, etc)
- Practise reading and spelling high frequency words
- Practise reading and writing sentences
- Learn more tricky words, including ‘have,’ ‘like,’ ‘some,’ ‘little’
In Phase 5 children will have the opportunity to:
- Say the sound for any grapheme they are shown
- Write the common graphemes for any given sound (e.g. ‘e,’ ‘ee,’ ‘ie,’ ‘ea’)
- Use their phonics knowledge to read and spell unfamiliar words of up to three syllables
- Read all of the 100 high frequency words, and be able to spell most of them
- Form most letters correctly
In Phase 6 children will have the opportunity to:
By Phase 6, children should be able to read hundreds of words using one of three strategies:
- Reading them automatically
- Decoding them quickly and silently
- Decoding them aloud
- Use Prefixes and suffixes, e.g. ‘in-’ and ‘-ed’
- Use the past tense
- Use reading strategies such as proof-reading
- Learn how to use a dictionary
- Explore where to put the apostrophe in words like ‘I’m’
Throughout the year, families of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are invited to participate in a Phonics Workshop to learn all about how your child is learning to read. Our regular newsletters will inform you of when these workshops will take place throughout the year.
Photographs of Workshops
Supporting your child with reading at home
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.
There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home from school:
A reading practice book
This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.
Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
We use the Little Wandle Big Cat reading scheme and supplement this with Bug Club, Floppy Phonics and Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds reading books that are carefully aligned to the progression of our phonics programme.
A sharing book
In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. You shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone, the sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.
Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a nonfiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!
If you would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.