At Lower Farm we are passionate about ensuring all children 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 of high priority.
At Lower Farm, we follow the newly accredited Essential Letters and Sounds to ensure consistent high quality phonics. For more information, please follow this link: https://global.oup.com/education/content/primary/series/essential-letters-and-sounds/?region=uk
We start by teaching phonics in Nursery, building knowledge and skills in Reception and Key stage 1.
The Lower Farm ethos is 'KEEP UP not CATCH UP'
Please click here for an introduction to Essential Letters and Sounds video
It is expected that Nursery will introduce Phase 1 phonics through small focused groups and activities. This includes learning to make different sounds and developing listening skill. The key is developing vocabulary, language composition with the early introduction of graphemes (letters) and phonemes (sounds) When appropriate, the practitioners will then introduce the initial sounds and may begin to teach digraphs.
In Reception, we will revise all letters and sounds and learn new digraphs and trigraphs. At this stage the children are also becoming more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words. In Reception, children are also taught words with 4 and 5 sounds in them and alternate ways to read and write different sounds. Assessments take place every 5 weeks to ensure pupils are retaining their learning and building fluency and automaticity (automatic reading skills) to ensure confident readers.
We teach phonics daily and phonics is part of our continuous provision all day, daily.
Children also take a book from our phonics book collection to practice reading at home.
The general rule is that children read this book 3 times in order to develop fluency and then they change their book. The book is directly linked to the sound that they are learning that week.
Please watch the video below for an example of a phonics session in a Reception class.