Duston Eldean Phonics Teaching in Foundation and KS1
The National Curriculum for Reading is split into two parts: Word Reading and Comprehension. The teaching of phonics is central to developing early reading skills. Therefore, in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children take part in daily 20 minute Phonics lessons.
How is phonics taught?
At Duston Eldean, we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme. When your child starts school they will begin learning letter sounds such as, ’c’ for ’cat’ and ’d’ for dog. We use many different methods of teaching to accommodate all learning styles. Each sound (phoneme) is taught using a picture and physical movement to give formation practice. There are 44 sounds within the programme including common sounds that use 2 or 3 letters e.g. ‘sh’ (a digraph) and ‘igh’ (a trigraph). They are not taught in alphabetical order but in a way that allows the children to make many words as quickly as possible. The first 6 sounds are s a t p i n will be taught early in the first term of Foundation Stage.
Each year, we run a workshop for parents in September to learn about how you can best support your child with reading, writing and phonics at home. We strongly encourage parents to attend this session as feedback from previous year groups has been very positive.
Phonics Phase 1
In Phase 1, we develop children’s listening and speaking skills. This phase is for children to explore and experiment with different sounds such as farm animals, different noises for them to discuss. 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.
Phonics Phase 2
In phase 2, we teach 19 letter sounds and actions. Children learn that words are constructed from phonemes/sounds which they can then start putting together to read and spell simple words and captions.
We introduce children to lots of new vocabulary such as phoneme, grapheme, blending and segmenting.
Blending is drawing individual sounds together to pronounce a word e.g. h-a-t.
Segmenting is where we split up a word into its individual phonemes/sounds in order to spell it. For example the word ‘cat’ has 3 phonemes c/a/t.
Phonics Phase 3
In Phase 3, we teach another 25 graphemes most comprising of 2 letters (e.g sh). By the end of this Phase, they should be able to identify 44 sounds by identifying the letter sounds. We continue to focus reading captions, sentences and questions.
Phonics Phase 4
In Phase 4, no new sounds are taught. This phase consolidates the children’s prior knowledge of sounds in reading and spelling words. They practise reading and writing longer words such as 2 syllable words e.g. tonight, rooftop, boatman.
Phonics Phase 5
This phase intents to broaden the children’s knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new sounds and alternative pronunciations and spellings for sounds they have already learnt e.g. ‘ai’ rain, ‘ay’ say and ‘a_e’ cake.
How do we monitor and assess phonics?
Progress is monitored regularly by class teachers and the Literacy Leads. Teachers in KS1 complete weekly spelling tests. Each KS1 class also completes an unaided writing assessment four times in the year to assess children’s application of phonics skills.
Year 1 pupils take part in a phonics screening in June. The results of this test are reported on a pass/fail basis and if any child is not successful in this test they will retake it in Year 2.