Phonics Structure at HPA
At Horbury Primary Academy, we believe that the key to our pupils’ success is their ability to read. It is vitally important that children learn to read fluently as quickly as possible. We therefore ensure that systematic, synthetic phonics is taught on a daily basis in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The systematic nature of our phonics programme – Letters and Sounds – ensures that children are taught sounds and words at a pace which enables them to meet or exceed age related expectations. It is our intention that all children learn to read early, regardless of their background. Through regular assessment of pupils’ phonic progress, we identify any pupil who falls behind and they are given extra help to catch up. Our reading books contain sounds that children have been taught in phonics sessions and are well matched to their reading stage. It must always be remembered that phonics is the step up to word recognition. Automatic reading of all words – decodable and tricky – is the ultimate goal.
The Letters and Sounds programme is made up of six phases.
Phase 1 – (nursery and beyond)
Phase 1 helps develop children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in phase 2. During phase 1 children become attuned to the sounds around them such as environmental, instrumental, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, and voice sounds and are ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
Phase 2 (nursery/first term of reception)
Children entering phase 2 will have experienced a wealth of listening activities, including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to say a string of rhyming words. The purpose of phase 2 is to teach at least 19 letters and sounds and move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase children will be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them using magnetic letters or by writing. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read the tricky words: the, to, go, no, I, and
Phase 3 (reception)
Children entering phase 3 will already know around 19 letters and their sounds and will be able to blend these to read and spell VC words. They will also be able to read and spell CVC words. They should also be able to blend and segment CVC words orally. Over the course of phase 3 we teach another 25 graphemes/phoneme correspondences (letters groups and sounds), most of them comprising of 2 letters e.g. oa, ai, ar. Children will continue to practise CVC blending and segmenting and will apply this to reading and spelling two-syllable words and writing captions, sentences and questions. Children will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read a further 12 tricky words: he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her and also be able to spell some of these words.
Phase 4 (reception)
Children entering Phase Four will be able to represent each of 42 phonemes (sounds) by a grapheme (letter), and be able to blend phonemes to read CVC words and segment CVC words for spelling. They will have some experience in reading simple two-syllable words and captions. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children’s knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk and polysyllabic words. They will know letter names and be able to read and spell some tricky words. During phase 4, the following tricky words are taught: said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what
Phase 5 (year 1)
The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They will learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations for these and graphemes they already know, where relevant. Some of the alternatives will already have been encountered in the high-frequency words that have been taught. Children become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build word-specific knowledge of the spellings of words. During this phase children are taught to read and spell the following tricky words: oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could, would, should
Phase 6 (year 2)
By the beginning of phase 6, children should know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways:
■ reading the words automatically if they are very familiar;
■ decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;
■ decoding them aloud.
Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times. Spelling usually lags behind reading, as it is harder.
In the Autumn term, our Early Years team hold a phonics meeting for parents. During the phonics meeting they look at:
- The basic skills covered in our phonics teaching
- The phonic phases children go through to learn to read and write well and confidently
- Handwriting in Foundation Stage
- How providing additional support at home can help children achieve the best results
- Sharing videos of how phonics is taught in our Foundation Stage
- Opportunity to look at phonics resources and activities and speak with members of EYFS staff.
During the Spring term, the Year 1 team host a meeting for parents to provide information about the Phonic Screening Check which is carried out in the Summer term.
Useful websites and information booklets to support you with phonics at home.
KS2 Phonics and Reading support:
In KS2, support is put in place in the form of afternoon/morning interventions for those children that do not achieve the phonics pass mark by the end of Year 2. These interventions provide structured activities to support children in their phonics and reading journey.
These programmes include:
Bounce Back Phonics – Catch up phonics lessons for Years 2, 3 and 4 based on the Letters and Sounds Programme
IDL – this program consists of approximately 1000 graduated exercises, commencing with recognition of the alphabet and finishing with comprehension
Read Theory – a computer based reading comprehension activity which meets learners own individual ability levels
Rainbow words – the colours relate to the phase a child is working upon (reading/spelling). Some words can be sounded out (listening words – we can segment them and blend them back together to hear what the word says). Some words are looking words – they cannot be sounded out they just have to be learnt by sight
SaLT – Speech and Language Therapy appropriate to child’s needs
Reading Buddies – Members of staff read with Year 6 children to develop fluency and comprehension skills
At Horbury Primary Academy, we use a systematic, synthetic phonics programme – ‘Letters and Sounds’ to plan daily phonics sessions from Lower Foundation Stage up to Year 2. We ensure sessions are fun, interactive and engaging for our children. Our systematic approach enables our children to learn letter sounds and to blend them together to read and segment them to write words. Our children have daily phonics sessions as a whole class and where needed interventions are planned to support our children who are not working at their age related expectation. Higher achieving pupils are challenged in additional phonic groups and spelling activities and homework are matched to our children’s developing needs. Our children work through the 6 phonic phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge. Pupils in Key Stage 2 who still require phonics teaching have access to phonic based reading books and they are supported in interventions and small group work.
Teachers assess children regularly in phonics from Lower Foundation Stage up to Year 2 and results are tracked half termly using our Assessment tracker. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning. This then supports teachers to ensure children are grouped appropriately in phonics. Parents are informed if children are not working confidently at any particular phonic phase and these pupils are supported in small intervention groups to enable them to make accelerated progress. These groups of children are closely monitored and tracked on our phonics progression mapping grids.
Through the teaching of daily systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One and also to be able to apply their phonic knowledge in their spelling of words, including learning to read and spell non-decodable words. Our reading scheme includes a wide range of decodable books to enable our pupils to apply their phonics knowledge and read books at an appropriate phonics phase level. By ensuring children have a sound phonic knowledge in EYFS and KS1, our children can then focus on developing their fluency and comprehension in reading as they move through the school.