Phonics & Reading

All children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will be taught phonic skills through Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics letter sounds and actions, ‘Phonics Play’ planners are used as a basis for teachers’ planning and resources are also utilised from discovery espresso (clips, games and activities) and ‘Phonics Play’. This will take place through dedicated daily phonics lessons, Nursery (Phase 1), Reception (Phase 2,3 and 4) and Year 1 (Phase 5) will complete daily phonics lessons and Year 2 onwards will complete Phase 6 alongside the No-Nonsense spelling programme- children from Year 2 onwards identified as needing extra phonics will be planned for accordingly.

In Reception the children start with phase 2 (SATPIN) and then progressing onto phase 3 (digraphs and trigraphs.) Phonics is taught daily for 15 to 20 minutes. We use a combination of reading, writing and ICT games as strategies.

In Year 1 we assess how secure the children are with the Phase 3 content, and consolidate any gaps in the children’s knowledge of Phase 4. We will then move onto Phase 5. As in Reception, we use a range of strategies from whole class daily teaching sessions with the class teacher to TA-led interventions based on termly assessment. Year 1 pupils do the Phonics screening in June of Year 1.

In Year 2, we revisit and revise Phase 5 phonics, making connection between phonic sounds and spelling by following the No-Nonsense Spelling approach. The children will also onto developing the skill of understanding and answering comprehension questions. Some Year 2 children may need to re-visit the Phonic screening if they did not achieve the pass mark – these children will receive specific intervention, which will continue into KS2 if required.

Phonics information meetings are also held to advise parents on the reading strategies used in school and how best they may help their child before the children start their Reception Year, and in Nursery where appropriate. Additional meetings are held to support parents prior to the Year 1 phonic screening in the Summer Term.

Reading Strategies

Phonics Schemes

In Reception the children follow the “Jolly Phonics” scheme starting with phase 2 (SATPIN) and then progressing onto phase 3 ( digraphs and trigraphs.) Phonics is taught daily for 15 to 20 minutes. We use a combination of reading, writing and ICT games as strategies.

In Year 1 we assess how secure the children with the Phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs, and consolidate any gaps in the children’s knowledge. We will then move onto Phase 4 which is a revision of Phase 3 and also introduces consonant clusters and 2 syllable words. As in Reception we use a range of strategies from whole class daily teaching sessions with the class teacher to TA led interventions based on termly assessment.  We also use Phonics play as an ICT based resource. Finally we move onto Phase 5 of the Letters and Sounds programme which looks at alternative pronunciations of the digraphs and trigraphs learnt in Phase 3. Year 1 pupils do the Phonics screening in June of Year 1.

In Year 2, we teach a combination of Letters and Sounds 6 (which is a grammar based programme) and No Nonsense Spelling which focuses on the spelling patterns that are part of the National Curriculum for Year 2. We also develop the skill of understanding and answering comprehensions in preparation for the SATs. Some year 2 children may need to re-visit the Phonic screening if they did not achieve the pass mark.

Reading Schemes

The pupils at St Mary’s follow a variety of reading schemes based on a progressive phonic knowledge. Children are exposed to a range of texts (fiction and non-fiction) to increase their vocabulary. In Reception and KS1 they are regularly heard read at school, and are encouraged to read at home 3 times a week. Parents are asked to record when they hear their child read.

In KS2 children still have access to reading schemes if they need to consolidate their decoding skills.  Children are encouraged to be independent readers and again parents are encouraged to record evidence of home reading.

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