At Millfields Primary School we are passionate about inspiring all children to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through phonics, children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is a high priority. We also value and encourage the pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.
Through the teaching of Letters and Sounds and supporting resources, for example Phonics Play and Twinkl Phonics, we create an environment where the children are taught the essential skills needed for reading and spelling.
Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and KS1 with interventions planned for those children who are working below expected levels. Extra support is provided to those in Year 2 who have not passed phonics screening in Year 1 and into Key Stage 2 where needed.
Each phonics lesson includes the following elements:
Revise – overlearn the previous graphemes and words
Teach – introduce a new grapheme/words
Practise – develop GPCs (grapheme phoneme correspondences) / read and spell new words
Apply – use new graphemes/words in games and activities to secure knowledge
Assess – monitor progress within each phase to inform planning
Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics is delivered in a whole class format because it enables staff to ensure application across subjects embedding the process in a rich literacy environment for early readers. Pupils have regular reading sessions with an adult where we ensure the pupils are regularly practising and applying their phonics knowledge. In the EYFS the continuous provision matches the pupil’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged.
Teachers regularly assess the pupil’s phonics knowledge using the phonics assessments and reading end points. These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning.
The children read books which match their current phonics level. They are encouraged to read regularly at home to ensure fluency in reading is developed. Books are chosen from our reading schemes – Dandelion Phonic Readers, Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds and Big Cat books.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to achieve being fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. As a result of high quality phonics provision, children make good progress from their starting points and the majority are ready for the next stage in their education. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 and through regular teacher assessments. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.
Phonics Leader - Mrs Rhiannon Macdonald
Phonics Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore
Part of the Languages team.