Phonics at Year 1 and Beyond
Developing a phonics understanding underpins the learning needed to become independent readers and writers. We use the Letters and Sounds, and Jolly Phonics learning programmes to develop the children’s phonics skills. The children begin in F1( nursery) by listening to environmental sounds, using instruments and singing as a way of fine tuning their listening skills and developing early phonological awareness. In F2 (reception year) we continue building upon the children’s phonics knowledge gained in nursery. Children take part in daily phonics sessions, developing their ability to hear and recognise the sounds within words using a wide range of practical activities. The phonic approach to reading is used as the first strategy in helping them learn to read. ‘Tricky words’ that cannot be sounded out are taught using the Action Words programme. Homework activities are set to reinforce and practise the phonics skills taught in school.
Daily phonics focus sessions continue to take place from F2-Y2 and throughout key Stage 2 where it is needed. Guided reading sessions take place where the children are able to apply their phonics skills to reading.
As children become more fluent in decoding words and are competent in applying their phonics skills to their reading, they take part in Literature Circles, a guided reading strategy where group roles are allocated to develop discussion about the text. The adult in the group plays the role of coach and facilitator as pupils lead and structure discussion as they listen and learn from one another. This reading strategy allows time to teach comprehension skills in a motivating and meaningful way.