At The Discovery School we believe that learning to read and establishing a love of books is an essential part of being a literacy learner. Therefore we value the importance phonics has in the development of early reading and early writing. We aim to deliver high quality, phonics lessons within Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and also phonics in Key Stage Two to support children where necessary in reading and writing.
The organisation of Phonics teaching across The Discovery School varies with each Year group. Approaches to teaching phonics are reviewed and refreshed regularly in order to follow the needs of each cohort and class of children. However our objectives remain the same:
The focus for this phase is getting children to tune into different sounds. They will play games which allow them to identify sounds from the environment and also make different sounds with their voice.
‘Sound talking’ is introduced. Although the children do not see any written letters on the page they are taught to break simple words down into their component sounds and also put the sounds together to form a word. Eg
Cat = c-a-t
Sheep = sh – ee- p
Rain = r-ai – n
Click = c-l-i-ck
When children can look at an object and say the sounds and put the sounds together to find an object they are ready for letters on the page.
Children are introduced to 19 letter sounds and their actions. They will read and write them in simple words but also in short sentences and captions. The letter sounds will be taught in a specific order:
SET 1 – s, a, t, p
SET 2 – i, n, m, d
SET 3 – g, o, c, k
SET 4 – ck, e, u, r
SET 5 – h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss
Sound pronounciation demonstration video
To support grapheme / phoneme correspondence sound buttons or dots are used under each word to act as a ‘doorbell’. Children are encouraged to ‘press’ the button hear the sounds. a Phoneme frames are also used (3 boxes side by side with one sound in each box) For children who find pencil control an issue at this stage; magnetic letters can be used as an alternative.
Sound Buttons: c a t d u ck
. . . . . ___
Children are introduced to letter names (capital letters) at this point. Another 25 letter sounds are taught most of which comprise of two letter digraphs. Reading and writing at this point extends to 3 or 4 word sentences. Again letters are taught in order:
SET 6 – j, v, w, x
SET 7 – y, z, zz, qu
Consonant digraphs – ch, sh, th, ng
Vowel digraphs – ee, oo, ai, oa, ar, ow, oi, igh, air, ear, er, ur, ure
Phase 4 is a consolidation of the previous 2 phases, therefore, no new sounds are introduced. Words are extended in length. Children begin to use consonant and vowel blends at the beginning and end of words such as cl, br, nt, mp
Phase 5 Introduces sound families and alternative pronunciations and spellings or sounds. Sentences will be extended for children to read and write.
Phase 5 sound family poster
Phase 6 consolidates all previous learning through letters and sounds, it is taught alongside Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar targets. Children will explore different spelling patterns and rules.
Key Vocabulary Powerpoint
It is a statutory requirement for children in Year One to be given a phonics screening. This contains real and pseudo words. It is designed to see if children have reached standard in phonics before Year Two. The assessment is administered by class teachers, there is no time limit on the assessment. The children will do practise screenings throughout the academic year so the set up will not be unfamiliar to them. The standard mark is unknown each year. It is only published once the Local Authority has scores from all schools.
Click here to see a sample extract from the phonics screen
Guided reading is a group reading activity that happens everyday across the school. It is an opportunity for children to practise their decoding skills with the support of their peers and an adult. We have recently purchased a new set of phonics based guided reading books that follow the same teaching sequence as our phonics curriculum. This means that children will be able to access reading material that is matched to the learning they have undertaken in their phonics sessions. Children will be able to read the books confidently without coming across sounds that they are yet to learn or cover.
Letter recognition and word building –
Click here for initial sound letter and picture cards
Jolly phonics alphabet songs
Phase 3 jolly phonics songs
Phase 2 and 3 poster
Phase 5 sound poster
Example of captions and sentences to read
There are a number of useful websites and online games these can be found by simply google searching ‘phonic games for FS and Key Stage 1’. They are particularly useful for helping children with reading both real and pseudo words. There are also apps available for Iphone and Android again by searching ‘phonics’ in the app store.
Below is a list of just a few of the websites we would use in school: