Phonics

Our Aim

At Sea Mills Primary School we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme from Nursery to Y ear 2, to help get children off to a good start with reading and writing. By teaching phonics we aim to ensure that our children quickly develop the skill of matching sounds to letters or groups of letters which will enable them to feel confident readers and writers.

Our approach

There are 6 phases to ‘Letters and Sounds’ which begin in Nursery with the aim of the children successfully completing Phase 6 by the end of Year 2.  When teaching the phases, teachers will include a variety of games within their phonics lessons to provide a fun and multisensory approach.

Phase 1

Phase 1 begins in Nursery where we play games to develop our speaking and listening skills to help lay the foundations for Phase 2. Phase 1 is broken down into seven aspects.  These aspects are not taught in any order but are dipped into, providing a balance of activities depending on the children’s needs. They are taught alongside a broad and enriched curriculum which has speaking and listening at its centre.

  • Aspect 1: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds
  • Aspect 2: General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds
  • Aspect 3: General sound discrimination – body percussion
  • Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme
  • Aspect 5: Alliteration
  • Aspect 6: Voice sounds
  • Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting

Phase 2

The children begin to learn phoneme (letter sound) and grapheme (shape of the letter or a group of letters) correspondences. As soon as a set of letters is taught, the children will learn and practise to blend and segment these letters in words to develop reading and writing skills. Phase 2 begins in Reception.

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

They are taught to read the following ‘tricky’ words by sight:

the, to, I, no, go, into, here, come

Phase 3

When the children have acquired the skills of blending and segmenting the 19 phonemes in Phase 2, they are taught Phase 3. Phase 3 is introduced in Reception.

Set 6: j, v, w, x

Set 7: y, z, zz, qu

Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

They are taught to read the following ‘tricky’ words by sight:

he, she, you, her, are, my, they, be, was, all, we, me, like, said

They are taught to spell:

the, to, I, no, go, into, here, come

Phase 4

Phase 5 is introduced in Reception. In Phase 4 no new sounds are taught. The aim of this phase is to consolidate the previous phases and practise reading and writing word with adjacent consonants such as:  sweet, trick, tent, wind.

They are taught to read the following ‘tricky’ words by sight:

have, so, do, some, were, there, little, one, when, out, what

They are taught to spell:

he, she, you, her, are, my, they, be, was, all, we, me, like, said

Phase 5

Phase 5 is taught in Year 1. In Phase 5 the children will learn more grapheme and phoneme correspondences.  They will look for alternative spellings for each sound and helps the children recognise which spelling pattern they need to use:

ai, a, ay, ey, eigh, a-e , e-e, ea

They will learn the following new sounds.

 

They are taught to read the following ‘tricky’ words by sight:

Oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could

They are taught to spell:

have, so, do, some, were, there, little, one, when, out, what

Phase 6

Phase 6 is taught in Year 2.During this phase children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers. They should already be able to read hundreds of words.  They will recognise phonic irregularities and learn less common sounds. They will be taught past tense, suffixes, prefixes and how to spell longer words.

They are taught to spell:

Oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could

How you can help at home?

  • Read with and to your child.
  • Encourage children to speak in full sentences.
  • Flash cards- show children sound cards, key word cards and see how quickly they can read them by sight.
  • Help your child with learning their spellings and completing homework tasks. (magnetic letters on the fridge, chalks outside, bubbles in the bath, make sounds with food on their plate etc.)
  • Play games- I Spy, Scrabble, Bingo, Pairs, Snap, Alphabet shopping
  • Make words using their toys (put stickers with letters on onto cars or blocks and use them to make words)
  • Play with sounds- Say words and talk about what sounds they can hear, can the children change the sounds to make it a different word (bright = gright)
  • Play educational games on the computer or i-pad
  • Encourage children to write for a purpose e.g. write a postcard when on holiday; write a letter to teacher/parents, shopping/present lists, reminders etc.
  • Pick out letters, sounds and words in the environment. Having familiar words around the house and in children’s bedrooms will help them memorise the spellings.

Useful links

www.letters-and-sounds.com

Whether you are a parent or teacher, you can use these free resources to help support the DfES Letters and Sounds phonics programme.

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/magickey/adventures

www.ictgames.com Loads of free resources for children to access as well as information for parents on the six phases of Letters and Sounds.

Phonics Play has free resources for children to access as well as information for parents on the six phases of Letters and Sounds. For a glossary of definitions, follow the link to Phonics Play, click on ‘Teachers’ on the left hand side of the screen and then ‘Subject Knowledge.’

Mr Thorne talks through sounds in each phase as well as alternative spellings and high frequency words.

Twinkl is a website full of resources for each phase that can be used as visual aides to teach and remind children of sounds and tricky words.