At St Paul’s, we teach phonics following the Department of Education ‘letters and Sounds’ programme in Reception and Year One. Elements of the Letters and sounds programme continue to be taught during Year 2. We use Sound Start phonic resources to support the teaching and delivery of Letters and Sounds and to ensure a consistent approach. We are currently researching a validated scheme.
Phonics is taught daily in discrete whole class lessons. In the lessons, the children will be taught new phonemes, shown strategies to enable them to decode, read and write words successfully. The children are given opportunities within the lessons to practise and apply these skills with activities that are matched to their phonic ability.
To further support the children’s development of phonics and reading the children will receive a phonetically decodable book which is closely matched to their phonic ability. These books are introduced to the children during guided reading sessions. In the guided reading sessions, the children will be introduced to the phonemes, tricky words and new vocabulary within the book and are supported to decode the words. The children are encouraged to read these books daily at home and have them changed once a week.
We assess the children half termly and use our phonic attainment tracker to track the children. We identify any children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge. These children will then receive some focused intervention over a short period of time using specific intervention activities.
In Year 1, the children are assessed in the Summer Term with the Phonic screening test.