Phonics Teaching at St Anne’s Royton
At St Anne’s, we believe that, for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At St Anne’s we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
How we teach phonics
- In the nursery, children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on sharing high-quality stories and poems with children, learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes, activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending, attention to high-quality language with children.
- In Reception and Y1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session on a Friday.
- Phonics starts in Reception in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.
- By the end of Reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
- By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
- Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible. By the end of the academic year, children in Reception are exposed to 60 minutes of phonics and reading throughout the day.
- Y1 lessons are a minimum of 30 minutes long.
- In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- In Y2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.
Reading practice sessions
- Children across Reception, Year 1, Year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session.
- These sessions are 20 minutes long and happen three times a week.
- The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
- The children then take the same book home after three reading sessions to ensure success is shared with the family.
- In Reception these sessions start in week 4. Children in Reception who are not yet decoding read ‘Foundation for Phonics’ wordless books in Autumn
- Children who are not yet decoding or struggling to decode, do a little blending lesson, following the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised.
How do we assess phonic knowledge?
- In Reception and Year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
- Children identified in Reception and Y1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
- In Reception and Year 1, the children are assessed every six weeks using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.
- The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term.
- Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.
- Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments.
If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.