Phonics

A high-quality systematic phonics lesson is taught every day at Wansbeck in EYFS and Key Stage 1.

We use the Letters and Sounds programme to plan each session carefully to meet the needs of each child. Children in FS1 focus on working through all aspects of phase 1 to prepare them for phase 2.

Aspects of phase 1 are revisited regularly through phase 2 to support the children’s ability to tune into sounds and identify phonemes as they are taught.

Phonics lessons are fun, engaging and are taught in small groups. Once the children start phase 2 they begin to learn GPC (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence) using flash cards linked to environmental print and with a corresponding action. The combination of visual and kinetic learning helps the children link the grapheme to the letter sounds and consolidate their knowledge. This enables the children to apply their knowledge of GPC to segment and blend words.

The children are encouraged to use their phonetic knowledge when decoding words in reading and applying it to their writing. The children continue working through the six overlapping phonic phases until the end of KS1. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers: Phase Phonic Knowledge and Skills.

Phase One Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, 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 Four 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 Five 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 Six Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

How can you help?

Here is a video clip modelling how to correctly pronounce the sounds of the English phonic code…
Sounds of the English phonic code

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