At Leonard Stanley Primary School we understand that Phonic skills need to be developed in a systematic, staged approach in order to help all children to ‘achieve their potential’.
Letters and Sounds Scheme
The children follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme in Early Years Foundation Stage (YR), through KS1 and into KS2 when required. The scheme focuses on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and reading comprehension. Each child in YR, Y1 and Y2 is taught a discrete 20 minute daily session of phonics and spelling, and each teacher follows the teaching sequence of ‘revisit, review, teach, practise and apply’.
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar
This work is supplemented by the use of the ‘Jolly Phonics’, and at times the ‘Jolly Grammar’, scheme, as this ensures a multisensory approach to learning. Our aim is, that as a result of following this programme, our pupils become efficient and fluent readers and spellers by the end of Key Stage 1.
To meet the demands of the National Curriculum 2014 (NC2014), reading and spelling skills are taught and applied in all areas of the curriculum.
Y1 Phonics Screening Check
In the summer term, Y1 children will take a Phonics Screening Check in which children will be expected to read 40 decodable ‘words’. This progress check identifies those children not at the expected level in reading – and these children will be retaught re-checked in Y2.
Y2 Phonics Screening Guide for Parents
Phonics and Reading
Now children are settled into the new school year, we would like to share some information with you to help you understand how we teach children to read in school.
Research shows that children learn to read best through daily phonics lessons, so we follow the DfE approved Twinkl Phonics programme starting in Preschool and continuing throughout Key Stage 1. We also use the Twinkl Phonics programme in Key Stage 2 for groups and individuals who need it.
Please see the handout and Powerpoint slideshow to provide you with further information about the teaching of phonics using the Twinkl Phonics programme and how you can support children at home. Class teachers in Early Years and Key Stage 1 will send weekly parent information sheets home too.
It is a priority for children to achieve fluency in the early stages of learning to read. This means that they can read with sufficient accuracy and speed. Fluency frees up children’s working memory which will allow them to focus on understanding what the text means. Once children develop their comprehension skills then their enjoyment and love of reading can begin to flourish!
Repeated practise is an effective way of developing fluency, so it is vital that children are provided with opportunity to read as much as possible at home as well as at school. Children are expected to read out loud to an adult a minimum of 3 times per week at home, but we encourage children to read more than this if possible.
Choosing the right books for children to read is very important. Children working within level 1-6 of our Twinkl Phonics Programme will be given reading books which closely match their phonics knowledge and do not require other strategies to work out how to read words. Therefore, children should be able to read these books accurately at home without much help. We recommend that children re-read the same book to improve their fluency skills and once they are fluent you can discuss the text with them to help them develop their understanding (see question prompts in Reading Records to support you in this).
We will regularly assess children in school and check that they are taking home books that match their phonics knowledge. However, please be aware that children may need to spend a few weeks covering new learning in school before they can move onto the next book level.
Once children progress beyond Twinkl Phonics Level 6, they will have more choice over the texts they take home and will be encouraged to choose books from a range of authors. We would still like to focus on developing fluency skills, so please encourage children to re-read sections of text where appropriate.
Finally, with most of children’s new vocabulary coming from reading, we would also like to stress the importance of being read aloud to regularly by an adult. In school, we have daily ‘Drop Everything and Read’ sessions where adults read high quality texts out loud to children, exposing children to new and exciting vocabulary that they might not experience at their current reading level. Children would benefit greatly from being regularly read to by an adult at home too. You may even want to implement your own family ‘Drop Everything and Read’ sessions!
Thank you for your support at home as we work together to ensure our children become ‘resilient readers and learners’.