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Parents Guide for Reading & Phonics

Our school follows the Letters and Sounds Programme for phonics.

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.

It sets out a detailed and systematic programme of planned phases for teaching phonic skills to children. This starts at the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Below is a breakdown of each phase and when it is taught within our school.

Phase 1(Nursery/Reception) - Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase 2 (Reception) - Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds.

Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase 3 (Reception) - The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase 4 (Reception) - No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase.

Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase 5 (Year 1) - Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase 6 (Year 2) - Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

What is the phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check in Year 2 so that we can track children until they are able to decode.

The screening check is for all Year 1 pupils and children in Year 2 who previously did not meet the standard of the check in Year 1. It is a statutory requirement to carry out the screening check. It will be a short, simple screening check to make sure that all children have grasped fundamental phonic skills. It comprises a list of 40 words and non-words, which a child will read one-to-one with a teacher. 

These are some links to fantastic websites with lots of free resources to help you work with your child to build and develop their phonics knowledge and skills:

Click here to view our Phonics Curriculum

A Guide for Parents.pdf