What is phonics?
Phonics is how we teach children to read and write for the very first time. This starts in nursery with learning how to hear and make different sounds. Children learn phonics until the end of KS1 when the children will beginning to learn spelling patterns to ensure smooth transition into KS2. Children participate in a Phonics Screening Test at the end of year one. This standardised test allows the government and schools to make informed judgments on the children's progress.
How do we teach phonics?
The children begin to learn phonics as soon as they start school. They learn sets of phonemes (sounds) which will help them to begin to read simple CVC words. Along side this, the children learn how to form the graphemes (letters) which supports the segmenting and blending in reading. During phonics sessions the children will be developing their fine motor skills to aid them in the writing process.
The children then develop the ability to form letters through handwriting and fine motor practice and we begin to apply the graphemes we’ve learnt to writing words.
We use a combination of schemes including Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics when planning our phonics lessons to ensure that all learning styles are catered for. Phonics lessons are typically about 20 minutes long, taught every day and incorporate some reading, writing, spelling and listening games. Children are often grouped in phonics lessons based on the sounds that they know already and the ones they need to work on next. This ensures everyone is working at a pace that is appropriate to them.
Our phonics teaching is supplemented by flashcards that are sent home and reading books that are relevant to the phonemes being taught in class.
Phonics events at Amesbury Primary
We run yearly phonics information sessions, aimed at those parents who want to support their children with making rapid progress in reading and writing. This usually involves watching a lesson being taught, participating in phonics games and hearing our English lead talk about ways to help phonics at home. We also run a phonics screening information evening, aimed at parents of those children in Year 1 who are about to take the test.