Phonics

Curriculum

How we teach Phonics

The Forge Trust’s policy is to use the Letters and Sounds Framework to plan for phonics.  We believe that the Letters and Sounds document, published in 2007, describes ‘effective teaching and learning’.

Phonics at The Forge Trust is based on the key principle of effective teaching and learning. It provides a flexible model that gives teachers opportunities to plan and resource lessons matched to children’s learning needs and current interests whilst also ensuring all children are exposed to age-related teaching content.

We have a clear structure for teaching and learning that provides frequent opportunities for practise and consolidation alongside new learning and acknowledges the importance of building on proficiency with reading to become accurate at spelling.

By the time children enter Year 3 at The Forest View Academy, most will have mastered phonics for fluent reading and will be able to choose an appropriate reading for pleasure book with guidance from their class teacher. Children who join Forest View who still struggle with phonics for reading, including those who failed the Year 2 retake of the phonics screening test, receive a 10 minute one-to-one intervention every day with our reading champion.

Over a cycle of 2 weeks, the phonics interventions follow an adapted model of the Letters and Sounds lesson structure – Review, Teach, Practice and Apply. This process is outlined in more detail below:

Review

The children are assessed on GPC recognition, decodable word reading and common exception word reading. Through this assessment, gaps in the children’s knowledge are identified and will inform the focus of the next stages for this two-week cycle.

Teach

Gaps in the children’s GPC recognition are taught during 10 minute daily interventions, with a variety of activities focusing on one GPC. This includes activities focusing on decoding words containing the focus GPC and building fluency in reading those words.

Practice

Practice of the focus GPC takes place as part of the activities in the intervention. One intervention session per week will also recap the GPC’s and words from the previous sessions before moving on.

Apply

Children take home a decodable reading book each week that is matched to the GPCs they have worked on.

The Review section of the next two-week cycle will asses the children on the GPCs and words they have covered in the previous 2 weeks.

Overview

‘Letters & Sounds’ is the government programme for teaching phonics and high frequency words.

It is split into 6 phases:

Phase 1

Children learn rhymes

This paves the way for systematic learning of phonics and usually starts in nursery or playgroup.

Teachers plan activities that will help children to listen attentively to sounds around them, such as the sounds of their toys and to sounds in spoken language.

Teachers teach a wide range of nursery rhymes and songs. They read good books to and with the children.

This helps to increase the number of words they know – their vocabulary – and helps them talk confidently about books.

Things to try at home:

  • Play games like ‘I Spy’
  • Sing songs and rhymes together
  • Share books together

Phase 2

Children learn initial letter sounds and build 3 letter words

In Phase 2, they will also be taught the phonemes (sounds) for a number of letters (graphemes).

Your child will be taught how to pronounce the sounds (phonemes) correctly to make blending easier. Try to avoid saying ‘buh’, ‘cuh’ encourage your child to say the pure sound.

s   a   t   p   i   n   m   d

g   o   c   k   ck   e   u   r

h   b   f   ff   l   ll   ss 

and be able to read 5 tricky words…

the   to   I   no   go

They should be able to orally blend (sound talk) cvc words e.g. when you sound out c-a-t, they can tell you the word is cat, and also orally segment cvc words e.g. when you say mum, they can pick out the sounds m-u-m.

Spelling is harder than reading. During this phase they will use lots of alternatives to pencil and paper (eg magnetic letters, writing in sand, using paint)

Phase 3

Children learn all 44 phonemes and blend sounds to read and write words

The purpose of this phase is to teach 25 graphemes (letters) most of them comprising of two letters (e.g. oa) so the children can represent each of the 42 phonemes (sounds). Your child will continue to blend and segment for reading and spelling (e.g. pool)

j   v   w   x   y   z   zz   qu   ch

jug   van   wig   box   yes   zip   buzz   quit   rich

sh   th   ng   ai   igh   oa   oo   oo   ar

shop   moth   king   rain   high   loaf   look   moon   park

or   ur   ow   oi   ear   air   ure   er

port   burn   town   boil   hear   pair   pure   hotter

and 12 more tricky words to read…

he   she   we   me   be   was

my   you   her   they   all   are

They should now, also be able to spell the 5 tricky words from phase 2.

Phase 4

Children blend consonants together to read difficult words e.g. blue, grab

In Phase 4, children continue to practice previously learned graphemenes and phonemes and learn how to read and write:

CVCC words: tent, damp, toast, chimp

For example, in the word ‘toast’,

t = consonant, oa = vowel, s = consonant, t = consonant.

and CCVC words: swim, plum, sport, cream, spoon

For example, in the word ‘cream’,

c = consonant r = consonant ea = vowel, m = consonant.

and 14 more tricky words are added too…

some   come   one   said   do   so   were

when   have   there   out   like   little   what

The children should now be able to write the Phase 3 tricky words. During Phase 4, sounds with adjacent consonants or initials and final blends are taught e.g. bl, dr, sc, ft, so. These can be sounded out but recognising them.

Phase 5

Children learn how to spell letter sounds in more than one way e.g. rain, day, make.

The purpose of this phase is to teach 25 graphemes (letters) most of them comprising of two letters (e.g. oa) so the children can represent each of the 42 phonemes (sounds). Your child will continue to blend and segment for reading and spelling (e.g. pool)

j   v   w   x   y   z   zz   qu   ch

jug   van   wig   box   yes   zip   buzz   quit   rich

sh   th   ng   ai   igh   oa   oo   oo   ar

shop   moth   king   rain   high   loaf   look   moon   park

or   ur   ow   oi   ear   air   ure   er

port   burn   town   boil   hear   pair   pure   hotter

and 12 more tricky words to read…

he   she   we   me   be   was

my   you   her   they   all   are

They should now, also be able to spell the 5 tricky words from phase 2.

Phase 5

Children learn how to spell word specific spellings. E.g. turned, beautiful, shopping.

In Phase 6, the focus is on learning spelling rules for word endings or suffixes.

They learn how words change when you add certain letters. There are 12 different suffixes taught…

The children are also expected to be able to read and write the ‘next 200 commons words’.

-s   -es   -ing   -ed

-er   -est   -y   -en

-ful   -ly   -ment   -ness