At St Joseph’s RC Primary School, we use the Letters and Sounds programme of study to support the teaching of Phonics throughout Early Years, KS1 and into KS2 where gaps in Phonic knowledge are identified (this identification may be through Lexia baseline assessment – see SEND for more information on this)
The rigorous teaching of phonics is key to developing the skills required in order to learn to read. Reading is indeed a journey and our reading journey begins in Nursery. The children in Nursery develop their communication and language skills, as described in the Development Matters document, with exposure to sounds in the environment, nursery rhymes and stories. Our Early Years Foundation Stage is specifically designed to reflect the richness of language. The environment is designed to underpin the teaching and learning . We begin Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds help promote skills in listening, speaking and sound discrimination. Phase 2 of Letters and Sounds begins in the Spring Term where the children begin to make connections between the spoken sound (the phoneme) and the written/visual representation of that sound (the grapheme).
In Reception the children cover phonic phases 2-4. Additionally, Jolly Phonics songs and actions are used to support the teaching of new phonemes. Year 1 children cover phases 4 and 5. These children will undergo a Phonics Screening test within the Summer Term of Year 1. The children who do not pass the screen will have another chance to sit this in Year 2. In Year 2 the children learn the phonemes in phase 5 and 6. They will then move onto more formal spelling strategies linked to Spelling Frame.
All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are tracked using Phonics Tracker. This online tracking system allows teachers to assess the child’s phonic ability, identify gaps in learning and fill those gaps with bespoke homework and worksheets designed to move the learning on quickly.
*COVID19 – due to time away from school, St Joseph’s have decided to continue to teach phonics in Year 3 and 4 this year.