Phonics & Spelling

Phonics

We use the Letters and Sounds programme as our prime approach to teaching phonics. The children learn to hear sounds in words (phonemes) and represent these sounds using letters (graphemes). Phonics is taught as a daily, discrete session to all children from YR to Y2, and beyond Y2 for children who still need this approach. During daily phonics sessions children work practically, playing games and completing fun activities to learn to decode words by segmenting and then blending the sounds together. Please click here to view the Letters and Sound document. 

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonics skills two children starting in the Early Years, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. We expect the majority of our pupils to be decoding words accurately by the end of Year 1 and the large majority of pupils to be confident readers by the end of Year 2.

Children are also exposed to daily phonics activities in the nursery class. Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. 

In addition to the teaching sequence used from the Letters and Sounds phonics, we use the phoneme cards from the Read, Write, Inc. scheme. We find these pictures and phrases helpful ‘hooks’ for children to remember the sounds phonemes make and make links to graphemes for spelling. 

During the Autumn Term we run a workshop for parents where you have the opportunity to see how we teach phonics and can learn how to support your child at home.

This video shows you how to pronounce the sounds that each of the 42 phonemes make. You may also find this Phonics Audio Guide useful. Please note that some vowel sounds will differ depending on regional accents. For most Shropshire speakers the ‘u’ sound in particular with be slightly different to how it appears on this video. Think of how you say the ‘u’ at the beginning of the word ‘umbrella’.

The phonics screening check is a short test taken by all children in England in Year 1. It is usually taken in June. The check is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics.

The main purpose of the check is to see which children might benefit from additional support with their phonics, so that every child gets the opportunity to master this vital early reading skill.

Children are asked to decode and say aloud 40 words and ‘non-words’, also known as ‘alien words’, to their teacher. The screening check is taken on a one-to-one basis.
 

Spelling

At the end of Key Stage 1 and through Key Stage 2 the children learn spellings through the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme. This scheme breaks down the National Curriculum spelling objectives into termly teaching units. The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions - patterns and rules; and integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings. 

Within the sessions a range of strategies for learning spellings are introduced and practised. This enables pupils to choose the strategies they find most effective for learning different words. the learning strategy is on the downloadable sheet below can be used to support learning spellings at home. 

From Year 2, your child will be given a log on for Spelling Frame. This online resource provides plenty of opportunities to practise spelling words and patterns in a fun and challenging way. 

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