At Dovers Green School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers. If children are to develop these skills, it is vitally important that they have a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language. Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic way, based on a stage approach.
Phonics sessions are taught daily from the beginning of Foundation Stage to the end of Year 1, following the Letters and Sounds guidance and using some teaching strategies and resources from Jolly Phonics.
The Letters and Sounds scheme is grouped into phases and pupils progress from phase 1 to phase 5, with pupils being taught in differentiated ability groups. These phases ensure that children progress from talking about and exploring sounds, through to understanding what graphemes and phonemes are. Pupils learn about GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences), consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs. Children develop knowledge of how to blend and segment the phonemes within words, including those with adjacent consonants. Within phase 5, pupils progress to learning about split digraphs, alternative pronunciations of the same grapheme, and alternative representations of the same phoneme. Phase 6 concentrates on developing spelling rules and enhance reading strategies. The reading and spelling of high frequency words are taught throughout the academic year, as part of phonic development, along with how to spell tricky words which may not fit conventional spelling rules.
Phonics is taught in a variety of ways which always include sounding out, decoding, segmenting and blending strategies. We ensure lessons are active and fun and children are given the opportunity learn using the outdoor area. Interactive resources and games are used and children are given the opportunity to rehearse sounds verbally and record them in written work.
Phonics sessions are structured to build on previous learning and introduce new phonics skills and subject knowledge. Sessions follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model. Sessions are planned to include opportunities for development of speaking and listening, reading and writing.
In June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before.
Phonics in year 2
In the first half term of year 2 all children have access to regular phonics lessons to revisit and consolidate all previous learning. After this, focus turns to grammar and spelling, using the No Nonsense Spelling and Grammar scheme. Children who did not pass the Phonics Screening Test in year 1 will have daily phonics intervention from September to prepare them to re-sit the test later in the year.
Children’s progress is continually reviewed to allow for movement between ability groups. Children are formally assessed each half term in EYFS and Year 1 and then again at the start of Year 2.
At Dovers Green School we aim to develop the full potential of all our pupils as confident, literate readers and writers.
We use a variety of reading scheme books to broaden the children’s reading experiences. This allows children to access books which match their ability to use phonics to decode words as well as reading books which enable them to develop their comprehension and inference skills. Some of the schemes that we follow include: PM books, Songbirds, Oxford Reading Tree books, Project X and Collins Big Cat.
Whole class shared reading sessions focus on the understanding of vocabulary and comprehension skills. To support this we focus on the RIC skills: Retrieval, Inference and authors Choice of language.
Ongoing Reading Assessment
Children’s progress in reading is regularly monitored and they are assessed against the PM benchmarking scheme to decide if they are ready for the next level. Alongside keeping records of every child’s 1:1 teacher led read we assess children on the reading and writing of Ladybird and Butterfly high frequency words.