Phonics

Phonics is taught from reception to year 3. We are currently using ‘Letters and Sounds’ to support the teaching of phonics across the year groups. This gives us a clear structure to ensure coverage of all the phases. We also use an interactive whiteboard resource called ‘Bug Club’, found through active learn. This supports the Letters and Sounds phases and allows the children to have visual support and games in their lessons.

Children in reception use their literacy sessions to learn phonics from the beginning of the Autumn Term. They use ‘Jolly Phonics’ to support the letter sounds, allowing children to learn through actions. They have a phonics session every day for 25minutes.  Throughout the year, reception children will be working through phases 1, 2 and 3 of ‘Letters and Sounds’.

In the Autumn Term year 1 recap on the phonemes and digraphs learnt in phase 3 of ‘Letters and Sounds’. As the year progresses they cover phases 4 and 5. Phonics is taught for 25 minutes everyday in year 1 during a focused session. Children learn new digraphs and trigraphs through practical activities. They use a range of resources to support their understanding, such as small whiteboards, interactive games and activities on the interactive whiteboard as well as written work.

Year 1 children are working towards their phonics screening test which they sit during the first week of June. They have to segment and blend a selection of real and alien words accurately without any support or guidance. They get scored out of 40 words.

During Year 2, children recap on phase 4 of ‘Letters and Sounds’ and then progress to phases 5 and 6. Phonics is taught during focused 25minute sessions everyday. Activities are similar to those taught in year 1, practical and interactive sessions as well as more formal written tasks.

Phonics is continued in Year 3, taught as interventions for children who need extra support in securing their understanding. Small groups of children receive focused support twice a week using ‘Bug Club’ to practise identifying and spelling sounds from phase 5 of Letters and Sounds.

Phonics at Courtwood is currently being monitored to make improvements across the year groups. We are hoping to develop a more consistent and successful overview of teaching phonics, that shows clear progression and has an impact on reading and writing throughout the school.