Welcome to Waterside's Phonics Curriculum page, please look around and see all of the fabulous Phonics learning which is taking place at our school.
Miss Bickerton-Dean is the Phonics Leader for The Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and Two and should you wish to discuss phonics further or need any help supporting your child with phonics, please feel free to contact me.
Here at Waterside Primary School, phonics is taught daily to all children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One. In Reception and Year 1 Phonics is taught twice daily with one session focusing on the application of phonics in reading and the other focussed on applying phonics in writing.
Our Phonics lessons, where possible are linked to the theme of 'Pirates.' We ensure that our phonics activities are fun, engaging and practical for all children, in particular when delivering the reading focused lessons as we find this really helps in supporting the children to remember more.
We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach children the letters of the alphabet and their matching sounds. To support the children, especially those in the foundation stage, we often use songs and actions from Jolly Phonics to help us remember our sounds.
Why is Phonics important?
Phonics makes learning to read easier, simpler and crucially gets children reading quicker. This helps to increase a child's confidence and instil a love of reading from an early age which is fundamental. Not only is Phonics crucial for children to become confident readers it is also essential for children to become successful spellers and writers right from the early years of schooling and beyond.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write and allows the children to read quickly and skilfully. Phonics is all about sounds. In the English language there are 26 letters of the alphabet, 44 sounds and 140 ways to spell these sounds. We use these sounds to put together to form words.
Throughout the phases children are taught how to:
* Recognise the sounds that individual letters make
* Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make-such as 'sh' or 'air'
* Segment and blend to read and spell
* Read and write memory words within each phase
Children can then use this knowledge to 'decode' new words that they hear or see.
This is the first important step in learning to read.
The children are taught to read words by blending, which means pushing all the sounds together to make a word for example sh-ee-p = sheep.
The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear for example dog = d-o-g.
When is each phase taught?
As soon as children beginning their journey in Nursery at Waterside, they are exposed to a range of activities which develop their phonological awareness.
Phase One concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. Phase one is one of the most important phases as it is the foundation to everything else that follows and teaches the children skills for life. The children begin to discriminate between general sounds such as environmental and instrumental sounds before moving onto rhythm, rhyme and alliteration. They then explore voice sounds before beginning oral segmenting and blending.
This ensures that as they move through the school into Reception, they are ready to begin to learn letter sounds and corresponding graphemes in Phase 2.
In Reception the children will, if not already done so in Nursery, begin to look at Phase 2 and Phase 3. Here the children will be introduced to a range of phonemes. By the end of Reception children are expected to be secure in Phase 3 recognising all taught phonemes both separately and within words as they begin to read and write.
As the children move into Year One they will move on Phase 4 and Phase 5 looking alternative spellings and pronunciation of sounds.
Children are expected to be secure in Phase Five by the end of Year 1 and, along with all other children across the country will take part in a 'Phonics Screening' test whereby they will have 40 words both real and nonsense to read. More information regarding how to support your child with this can be found in the parental support page.
As children move into Year 2 they begin to explore Phase 6. This phase moves away from learning sounds and focuses on spelling rules and patterns. However, if the children are not secure in these phases they will not be moved on until they are ready to do so as children all learn at their own pace and therefore extra time will be given.
By the end of Key Stage One most children are secure in their phonics, however phonics will still be delivered to those that need it through daily interventions and focussed sessions.
Please see the links below for further information, support and useful links and resources to support with phonics.