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Phonics

Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing by which children are systematically taught the relationships between the sounds in our language and the letters used to represent those sounds.  Once children have been taught which sounds are linked to which letters, they are able to crack the code and can confidently have a go at reading and writing anything.

High-quality phonic teaching secures the crucial skills of word recognition that, once mastered, enable children to read fluently and automatically. Once children are fluent readers, they are able to concentrate on the meaning of the text. The ‘simple view of reading’ shows that both dimensions are necessary. However, the balance between word recognition and language comprehension shifts as children acquire secure and automatic decoding skills and progress from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ for purpose and pleasure. The ultimate goal of learning to read is comprehension. Furthermore, as children develop knowledge of graphemes and their phoneme correspondences, they are able to segment words and apply their phonic knowledge to encode to spell with increasing confidence and accuracy. 

At St Anne's, phonics sessions

  • Are taught daily in Reception and Year 1 for no longer than 20 minutes such that the vast majority of children are confident readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Year 2 retakes are taught two to three times a week, resulting in most children starting KS2 having passed the phonics screening.
  • Follow the DfE Letters and Sounds programme and use the ‘Phonics Play’ programme as the primary teaching tool.
  • Follow a planned programme, building on previous learning to secure progress.
  • Follow the Revisit/Review-Teach-Practise-Apply approach.
  • Are pacey and active.

Nonsense spelling

  • No Nonsense spelling is taught 3 to 4 times a week in Year 2 as a 20 minute session enabling most children to be confident spellers in KS1 spelling patterns, by the end of KS1.
  • In sessions, Phase 5 sounds are repeatedly assessed to ensure children maintain progress in their writing.
  • Spellings are assessed in context, applying them in a sentence at the end of each week. Children should be able confidently to apply these spelling patterns in their writing.
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