Phonics teaching is a vital part of English and at The Spinney Primary School we aim to teach children fluent word reading skills and provide a good foundation in spelling from the earliest opportunity.
At The Spinney Primary School, we use Pearson Bug Club to teach synthetic phonics. Children begin phonics as soon as they start in EYFS and it is taught daily through a systematic approach.
How do we teach phonics?
Within Early Years and KS1 classes, phonics is taught discretely in a daily session that lasts between 20 - 30 minutes. Children then apply their new skills when reading books from the Phonics Bug scheme which match the letters and sounds that they have previously learnt.
In EYFS, children begin by developing an awareness of sounds through stories, rhymes and games. They quickly move on to learn the links between individual letters and their phonemes (sounds). There are 44 different sounds to be learnt and again these are taught in a systematic way throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling. ‘.
In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as 'a' in 'ant' and 'was'. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge, using a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense).
From Year 2 onwards, children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to
apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses.
Teachers regularly assess children’s progress to check where they are and what they need to learn next.
A phonics based approach is used to introduce children to reading. Children learn to decode books that are closely matched to the letters and sounds that are currently learning. Children are encouraged to read at home on a daily basis. They keep the same book for a week to allow them to apply their skills to decode the text and to practise reading for fluency. A reading record book is used as a communication tool between parents and teachers.
Also, children are provided with log in details for the Bug Club online reading resource. Here children can practise phonics through appealing games and activities. They also have access to a wide range of additional books, arranged by difficulty using the coloured book band system that teachers allocate based on a child's current stage of learning.
The Spinney Reading Spine
We want our school to be a place where children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with high quality books. These ‘essential reads’ would be a store of classics, creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘Reading Spine’. We have provided the Pie Corbett reading spine in our classrooms so that children have access to these high quality texts.