At Naphill and Walters Ash we strive to ensure that all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture.
The Rose Report (2006) emphasised high quality phonics as an important part of the word decoding skills required by children to develop higher level whole language and comprehension skills. In the foreword of the Reading Framework (2021) it mentions that the effective teaching of reading requires not just a systematic synthetic phonics programme but its consistent implementation in every class.
This policy is aimed at reinforcing a consistent, high quality approach to teaching phonics across the Foundation Stage (Reception), Key Stage One (KS1) and on into Key Stage Two (KS2) for children who still need this further support.
Phonics is taught daily in Reception and KS1 in ability streamed groups following the Read, Write Inc. scheme. In KS2 interventions are based around the use of Read, Write Inc in order to meet each child’s specific needs.
To teach children aural discrimination, phonemic awareness and rhyme to aid reading, writing and spelling development.
To encourage the use of segmenting and blending so that decoding and encoding skills provide a sound foundation for reading, writing and spelling.
To ensure the teaching of phonics is lively, interactive and investigative.
To ensure children use phonic awareness across the curriculum.
To ensure that children know the 44 phonemes (sounds) within the English language.
To ensure that children recognise the graphemes (written representation of sounds) within words and associate them with the appropriate phoneme when reading.
To ensure children are taught strategies to identify and decode ‘tricky words’ within the English language.
To provide consistent, high quality phonics teaching that ensures all children have a strong foundation to tackle the complex processes of reading and writing.
To ensure that the teaching of synthetic phonics is systematic and progressive throughout Reception, KS1 and into KS2 for those children needing interventions to support phonetic knowledge and understanding.
To ensure that children have sound phonetic knowledge, understanding and skills so they can decode and encode words confidently and engage with higher order reading and writing skills.
Each classroom will have an age appropriate Read Write Inc phonics display concentratingon both sounds, reading and spelling words. ‘Tricky’ high frequency words also need to be displayed.
In Reception and KS1 teachers and support staff will work with all ability groups on a rotational basis to ensure all children have access to high quality phonics teaching.
Children will be introduced to all single grapheme sounds through daily phonic sessions for twenty minutes whole class during the first half of the Autumn Term. Children will also be taught how to form each single grapheme using the Read, Write Inc mnemonics.
Phonics skills are also embedded in writing and reading tasks in Literacy sessions.
Groups are differentiated from the second half of the Autumn Term and in the second half of the Spring Term the phonic sessions become longer.
The aim is that all children will have be able to say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and know at the sounds of at least 10 digraphs by the end of Reception and have growing confidence segmenting and blending words consistent with their phonic knowledge in preparation for Year 1.
Children working below expected level to participate in phonics intervention.
Children are introduced to ‘tricky words’ and aim to read and begin to spell the first 100 high frequency words before they enter Year 1.
Key Stage 1
Children have high quality daily phonic sessions for thirty minutes. Children are regularly assessed and grouped by ability across KS1. This differentiation ensures all children reach their full potential.
Children will read Read Write Inc reading books during 1:1 reading sessions in school.
The aim of Year 1 is to cover all consonant and vowel digraphs by the end of the year. Children are exposed to sounds beyond their ability even those in the lowest ability group.
Children in Year 1 or 2 working below expected level will participate in phonics intervention.
Any Year 2 children who failed the Phonics Screening test in Year 1 should receive extra intervention.
The aim of Year 2 is to consolidate all consonant and vowel digraphs and focus on selecting the correct grapheme when spelling words by the end of the year.
In Year 1 – children continue to work on ‘tricky words’ and aim to read and write the first 100 high frequency words and all Year 1 Common Exception Words before the end of Year 1.
In Year 2 – children should consolidate first 100 high frequency words and Year 1 common exception words and aim to read and write Year 2 common exception words.
Key Stage Two
Children in Year 3 who have not reached a sufficiently proficient level in phonetic awareness and application should be given access to a daily phonics session across the
Autumn Term. Children who by the end of the Autumn Term have still not reached a sufficiently skilled level of phonetic awareness will have intervention programmes arranged to provide for this need.
Children in KS2 who have not attained a sufficient skill level in phonetic awareness and application will have provision in small intervention groups in regards to phonics and/or spelling across the key stage.
Planning for phonics will be done separately from English but with the understanding that good phonics teaching should link to the literacy needs of the children within English lessons and across the curriculum.
Each phonics lesson should include the following sections:
Speed sounds – reviewing previously taught sounds
Focus sound – teach or review a particular sound
Word Time – reading ‘green’ words containing that days focus sound using Fred-Talk
Word time Review – reading ‘green’ words of previously taught sounds, building fluency and speed
Reading assessment – reading ‘alien’ nonsense words
Spell words – spelling words containing that days focus sound using Fred-Fingers
Spelling review – spelling words containing previously taught sounds
Red Words – teaching tricky ‘red’ words ‘it is tricky to Fred a red!’
Read a sentence / Hold a sentence – reading and writing sentences containing words the children have already been taught.
A good lesson should include – teacher lead exposition, whole class, group and individual work, tricky word vocabulary and lots of praise!
In Reception and KS1 phonics homework is sent home weekly. Phonetically decodable reading books are sent home once children recognise initial graphemes and are able to segment and blend words with growing confidence. Children will be allocated reading books containing sounds they have previously been taught to allow opportunities to build confidence and fluency. Children have ‘tricky’ red words sent home as appropriate.
A Phonics meeting is held for Reception parents in the Autumn Term and a Phonics Screening meeting held for Year 1 Parents in the Spring Term.
Teachers to use daily formative assessment to inform future lessons and summative assessment (half termly) to inform effective provision for all children, using this to plan and deliver well differentiated lessons that engage and challenge children within the lesson.
Pupil progress is assessed using phonics assessment sheets, children are grouped by ability and gap analysis is completed for each group to ensure appropriate previously taught sounds are reviewed.
This summative assessment should inform the rate at which children progress through sound coverage and secure a sound understanding of phonetics. Interventions to be put in place for any children working below expected standards. In preparation for the Phonics Screening check Year 1 pupils will be given practise papers to identify specific skills or any gaps in learning.
All Year 1 children take the statutory Phonics Screening Check in the Summer Term. Any children with low pass rates to be monitored moving forward to ensure all phonic sounds are consolidated and those who do not meet the pass mark will be given support and intervention programmes in Year 2 to provide them with sufficient knowledge and understanding to re-take the Phonics Screening Check and obtain a pass mark. Those children who do not obtain the required level set by the Phonics Screening Check will receive phonics teaching in the first term of Year 3 – which will be further supported throughout the year and across KS2 with a phonics and/or spelling
Glossary of Phonic Terms:
Phoneme – the smallest unit of sound in a word
Grapheme – a letter or group of letters representing one sound (phoneme)
GPC (grapheme phoneme correspondence) – the individual letters or letter strings which represent individual sounds
Vowels – in English, the vowels are a e i o and u, and sometimes y
Consonants – a speech sound that is not a vowel, in English, b c d f g h j k l m n p q r s t v w x yz
Adjacent consonants / consonant clusters – two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds (previously known as blends). Example: the first three letters of strap are adjacent consonants.
CVC, CCVC, CCVCC etc.- the abbreviations used to describe the order of sounds such as consonantvowel-consonant (CVC) and consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant words (CCVCC).
Example: cat, ship and sheep are all CVC words. The words black and prize could be described as CCVC words.
Digraph – two letters which together make one sound. There are different types of digraph: vowel, consonant and split digraphs.
Consonant digraph – two consonants which make one sound. Example: sh, ch, th, ph
Vowel digraph – a digraph in which at least one of the letters is a vowel Example: ea ay ai ar
Split digraph – two letters, which work as a pair to make one sound, but are separated within the word. Example a-e as in make or late; i-e as in size or write.
Trigraph – three letters which together make one sound. Example: dge, igh
‘Special friend’ – phrase used by Read Write Inc. to describe any group of letters that make one sound (digraph, split diagraph or trigraph)
Fred-Talk – phrase used by Read Write Inc. to describe the process of sound talk (Fred the frog only speaks in sounds). Example: c-a-t (cat)
Blending – the process of using phonics for reading. Children identify and synthesise/blend the phonemes in order to make a word. Example: s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap.
Segmenting – the process of using phonics for writing. Children listen to the whole word and break it down into the constituent phonemes, choosing an appropriate grapheme to represent each phoneme. Example: ship can be segmented as sh-i-p.
Fred-Fingers – phrase used by Read Write Inc. to describe the process of segmenting a word into sounds to spell. Children allocate one sound to each finger as they segment the word.
Appendix 1: Sound Coverage
m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, r, j, v, y, w, z, x
As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to blend words to read and segment words to spell.
qu, ck, ff, ll, ss, zz, sh, ch, th, wh, ph, kn
ai, ee, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow (cow), oi, , er, ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, ew, oe, au, ow (snow), ey,
igh, ear, air, ure, eer, are
a-e e-e i-e o-e u-e
Single alternative sounds:
c g y y
Children encouraged to read these sounds in progressively more challenging words:
2. Adjacent consonant words – CCVC, CVCC, CCVCC
3. Multi-syllabic words
Children learn alternative graphemes for phonemes they already know e.g. ‘ai’ as in rain, ‘ay’ as in day and ‘a-e’ as in make.
Children also learn alternative pronunciations for graphemes e.g. ‘ea’ in tea, head and break.
These are all in line with KS1 English National Curriculum expectations.
Appendix 2: Read, Write Inc mnemonics for individual letter formation:
m – down Maise, mountain, mountain
a – round the apple, down the leaf
s – slither down the snake
d – round the dinosaurs bottom, up his tall neck, down to his feet
t – down the tower, across the tower
i – down the body, dot for his head
n – down Nobby, over his net
p – down the plait and over the pirates face
g – round her face, down her hair and give her a curl
o – all around the orange
c – curl around the caterpillar
k – down the kangaroos body, loop round his tail and kick out his leg
u – down and under, up to the top and draw the puddle
b – down the laces to the heel, round the toe
f – down the stem and draw the leaves
e – lift off the top and scoop out the egg
l – down the long leg
h – down the head to the hooves and over his back
r – down his back, then curl over his arm
j – down his body, curl and dot
v – down a wing, up a wing
y – down a horn, up a horn and under his head
w – down, up, down, up
z – zig-zag-zig
x – down the arm and leg and repeat the other side
q – round her head, up past her earings and down her hair
Appendix 3: Read, Write Inc mnemonics for special friend sounds:
qu – the queen never goes anywhere without her umbrella
ff – huff puff
ll – sell the doll
ss – kiss kiss
zz – buzz buzz
ck – tick tock clock
ch – ch ch ch choo!
sh – shhhhhhh!
th – thank you
ng – a thing on a string
nk – I think I stink
ai – snail in the rain
ee – what can you see?
oa – goat on a boat
oo – poo at the zoo
oo – look at a book
ar – start the car
or – shut the door
ur – nurse with a purse
ow – brown cow
oi – spoil the boy
er – a better letter
ay – may I play?
ou – shout it out
ie – terrible tie
ea – cup of tea
oy – toy for a boy
ir – whirl and twirl
ue – come to the rescue
aw – yawn at dawn
ew – chew the stew
oe – oh my toe!
au – Paul the astronaut
ow – blow the snow
ey – wonky donkey
igh – fly high
ear – hear with your ear
air – that’s not fair!
ure – sure it’s pure
eer – cheerful deer
are – share and care
a-e – make a cake
e-e – even Steven
i-e – nice smile
o-e – phone home
u-e – huge brute
Single alternative graphemes:
c – ice city
g – giant giraffe
y – fly by
y – hungry baby
Pronouncing sounds correctly: