At Phoenix Infant and Nursery School, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics with the school following the government published programme 'Letters and Sounds' to teach phonics. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds all through the word for reading, and how to segment the sounds in order to write words. Children are taught to use their phonic skills and knowledge as their first approach to reading, but are also taught how to read high frequency words which do not completely follow the phonic rules.
Phonics is taught from Nursery and is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning.
Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’, which are words with spellings that are unusual.
The aim of this Phase is to foster children’s speaking and listening skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.
Phase Two is when systematic, high quality phonic work begins. During Phases Two to Four, children learn:
The Letters and Sounds Programme we use suggests an order for teaching the letters. We recognise, however, that children’s personal experience of letters varies enormously. Most importantly, we ensure that phonics is taught and practised at a pace that is suitable for individual and groups of children.
Children continue to revise the previous phases.
Children learn new ways of representing the sounds and practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.
During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.