What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write by learning to associate letters or groups of letters with the sounds they represent. There are 44 main sounds in the English language. Each sound is represented by a grapheme (the written representation of a sound).
At Beckbury Primary School, we use “Success for All Phonics” as our systematic synthetic phonic programme. Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching where words are broken up into the smallest units of sound (phonemes).
Children are taught how to:
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as /sh/ or /oo/;
- to blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
- to segment words into individual sounds
Key terms we use in our teaching:
Phoneme – a single unit of sound
Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letters that represents a sound
Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
Vowels – a, e, i, o, u
Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds c-a-t are blended to the word ‘cat’.)
Segment – to break down the word into individual sounds to spell (e.g. dog can be split into the sounds d-o-g.).
Phonics is an integral part of the curriculum across the EYFS (Reception class) and Key Stage 1 (continuing into Key Stage 2 as necessary). Lessons are taught daily to ensure that children develop the skills needed to become successful readers and writers. Children are regularly assessed and there are additional planned intervention groups for children needing extra support. Success for All Phonics comes with a selection of shared readers which we supplement with closely matched 'book banded' books from other schemes.
FFT Success for All Phonics
"FFT Success for All Phonics is a complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme that has been validated by the Department for Education.
"Our ambition is to enable success for all children and inspire a lifelong love of reading." (FFT - 2022)
Phonics is an integral part of the curriculum across the EYFS (Reception class) and Key Stage 1 (continuing into Key Stage 2 as necessary). Lessons are taught daily to ensure that children develop the skills needed to become successful readers and writers. Children are regularly assessed and there are additional planned intervention groups for children needing extra support. Success for All Phonics comes with a selection of shared readers which we will be supplementing with closely matched books from other schemes that have been carefully banded with support from the Shropshire Library Service.
Phase 2 – Reception (Term 1)
Children learn the short sounds and use these to read CVC words. A limited number of Common Exception Words (CEWs) are introduced in the context of the Shared Readers, and children practise writing new and previously learnt sounds in upper-case and lower-case letters.
Set 1 – s, a, t, p
Set 2 – i, n, m, d
Set 3 – g, o, c, k
Set 4 – ck, e, u, r
Set 5 – h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss
Set 6 - j, v, w
Set 7 - x, y, z
Phase 3 – Reception (Terms 2 and 3)
Children learn consonant digraphs and long vowel digraphs and read CCVC and CVCC words. Children are introduced to two-syllable words. Spelling and sentence writing with known sounds are introduced. Common alternative spellings / pronunciations are introduced.
Consonant digraphs – zz, qu, ch, sh, th, ng
Vowel digraphs – ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er
Phase 4 – Reception (Term 3)
Focuses on reviewing and consolidating all Reception-level content in preparation for Year 1. Decoding skills are applied to more challenging word structures.
Phase 5 – Year 1 (Terms 1 to 3)
Teaches remaining long vowels, including split digraphs.
ay, ou, ie, ea, oy, ir, ue, aw, ew
a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e, -y, ow, soft c, soft g
ire, are, tch, oe, ph
Children learn to read nonsense words along with CCVCC, CCCVC and CCCVCC words. All Key Stage 1 CEWs are taught and reviewed, and children learn the spelling and grammar conventions from the Year 1 NC.
Phase 6 – Year 1 (Term 3)
Focuses on reviewing and consolidating all Year 1-level content.
The Key Stage One Phonics Screening Check
It is a statutory requirement for children in Year One to be given a phonics screening. This contains real and pseudo words (sometimes know as nonsense words or alien words). It is designed to see if children have reached a standard in phonics before Year Two. The assessment is administered by class teachers in a set week in June. The children will do practice screenings throughout the academic year so the set up will be familiar to them. The standard mark is unknown each year. It is only published once the Local Authority has scores from all schools.