At Dalestorth, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that Phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Phonics is the process that is used to help children break down words into sounds, as well as building letter and word recognition. This can then enable children to use unknown words in the future. Children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read the words.
Phonics at Dalestorth follows the Department for Education approved document “Letters and Sounds”. This allows our Phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Nursery up to Year 2 as well as allowing children’s listening and speaking skills to develop. Phonics is taught through whole class teaching input, through provision in the setting and in small group activities. For children in FS2, Year 1 and 2, the teaching of Phonics is organised into groups depending on children’s prior Phonics knowledge, and looking at where individual’s need challenge or support. Where extra intervention is necessary, this is provided for children throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
There are six phases within the Letters and Sounds programme: –
Phase 1 – Activities are divided into seven aspects. Environmental Sounds, Instrumental Sounds, Body Sounds, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration, Voice Sounds and finally Oral Blending and Segmenting.
Phase 2 – Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting sounds into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase 3 – The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as “ch”, “oo” and “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 – 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 – 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 – Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.
Right from their first day at Dalestorth, children are provided with lots of opportunities to engage with books that fire their imagination and interest, motivating and exciting them to learn Phonics and become competent readers.
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
At Dalestorth, Phonics is taught as a daily lesson in both FS2 and KS1. Children in FS1 have plenty of opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills through carefully planned activities to lay the foundations for their future Phonic work. Children in KS2 will have access to targeted Phonics support in addition to their regular English and SPaG lessons where necessary.
All children in FS2 and KS1 will take part in a daily 20 minute Phonic lesson. They will be grouped by their current Phonic ability to allow for targeted teaching, and the lessons will be led by teachers and experienced teaching assistants known to the children.
At Dalestorth, we follow the Letters & Sounds Phonic programme and children will work through Phases 1-5 as set out in the LCP Phonics Planning document. Children in Year 2 will follow the lessons as set out in the Spelling Shed scheme. We also use the Jolly Phonics songs to support the learning of new graphemes in Phase 2 and 3 (please see link below).
Children in FS2 and KS1 will have opportunities to apply their phonic knowledge using phonetically decodable reading books which closely match our teaching in Phonics lessons. Please click the link below for more information about the letter sounds, spelling patterns and common exception words taught at each phase.