Phonics is taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons across Nursery/KS1 and KS2 in groups differentiated according to children’s phonic awareness and development. The Letters and Sound programme is followed, providing a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This is supplemented by Rapid Phonics, Education City, Phonics Play and other ICT games. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practise together and apply what they have learned.
Phases of the Phonics Programme
Children in Nursery begin with Phase 1 which provides a range of listening activities through play, to develop their listening skills. Progress is tracked at the end of each term. As children move into Reception they continue to build upon the listening activities and are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught writing the letters to encode words. Phase 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one spelling is given for each phoneme. When children become secure they continue into Phase 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. No new phonemes are introduced at this phase. It is expected that children will enter Phase 5 as they begin year 1, broadening their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes to represent phonemes and graphemes they already know, where relevant. It is expected that children entering Year 2 will start Phase 6 which develops a variety of spelling strategies including word specific spellings eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual GPC's eg laughs, two.
The school spelling programs complement the phonics learning from Reception through to the end of KS2. The spelling of high frequency and tricky words are taught continuously throughout the phases.