Phonics Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
At Eccleston St Mary’s, we value reading as a key life skill, and 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 and we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers.
At Eccleston St Mary’s, we use the Department of Education approved document ‘Letters and Sounds’ and Jolly Phonics actions for our teaching of phonics. This programme helps our children to master the skills of reading and spelling. Phonics teaching starts from the outset in Early Years, and throughout Key Stage 1, continuing into Year 3 for those children who have not yet made expected progress by the end of KS1.
Phonics is taught daily with each lesson following the Revise, Teach, Practise, Apply structure of activities. The programme begins in EYFS and guides the children through the early stages of sound discrimination, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting. Once they are ready, children move onto letter recognition, learning and practising the skills needed to blend graphemes for reading and segment for spelling. As the programme progresses, there is also an emphasis on reading and spelling high frequency words, 'tricky' words and polysyllabic words. Phonics lessons at St. Mary’s are very interactive and pupils engage in a variety of games and computer programs.
We have a comprehensive reading scheme in school that runs alongside the teaching of phonics. Our children are able to practise their decoding skills regularly through a series of fun, exciting and fully phonetically-decodable books by Pearson Bug Club, Big Cat Phonics and Oxford Songbirds.
The Six Phases
The six phases within the Letters and Sounds programme are:
Phase 1 – Activities are divided into seven aspects: Environmental Sounds, Instrumental Sounds, Body Sounds, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration, Voice Sounds and finally Oral Blending and Segmenting.
Phase 2 – Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting sounds into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase 3 – The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as “ch”, “oo” and “th” representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase 4 – No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase 5 – Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase 6 – Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.