Phonics and Reading

All pupils at Old Park School have regular access to high quality literature. Their reading progression route is determined by their class teacher depending on their current needs and abilities. The school uses Letters and Sounds to guide the planning sequence. All pupils have access to Phonics Hero to support with learning in school and at home.

Old Park School have adopted the Collins Big Cat reading scheme. We also use multisensory stories, story sacks and books with symbols.

 

What is phonics?

Phonics consists of teaching the skills of segmenting and blending, the alphabetic code and an understanding of how this is used in reading and spelling. Simply put, it is hearing the sounds in a word and writing them down to spell it correctly. When reading, it is sounding out a word and sticking the sounds back together to read the whole word.

When teaching phonics it is important to pronounce "pure sounds": for example, the sound /m/ is pronounced 'mmmm' and not 'muh' or 'em'. This makes it much easier for children to blend sounds together to read.

 

Letters and Sounds Phase 1

Phase 1 supports children’s developing speaking and listening skills and linking of sounds and letters. Activities are divided into seven groups:

  • Environmental sounds.
  • Instrumental sounds.
  • Body percussion.
  • Rhythm and rhyme.
  • Alliteration.
  • Voice sounds.
  • Oral blending and segmenting.

Children should be encouraged to enjoy books from as early an age as possible. However, the focus of this phase is on listening to and repeating sounds, rather than on directly reading words.

 

Letters and Sounds Phase 2

Phase 2 introduces simple letter-sound correspondences. As each set of letters is introduced, children are encouraged to use their new knowledge to sound out and blend words. For example, they will learn to blend the sounds sat to make the word sat.

Set 1:
s, a, t, p
at, a, sat, pat, tap, sap, as

Set 2:
i – it, is, sit, pit, tip
n – an, in, nip, pan, nap
m – am, man, mat, map, Tim
d – dad, and, sad, dim, Sid

Set 3:
g – tag, gag, sag, gas, pig
o – got, on, not, top, dog
c – can, cot, cop, cap, cod
k – kid, kit, Kim, Ken

Set 4:
ck – kick, sack, dock, sick, pocket
e – get, pet, ten, net, pen
u – up, mum, run, mug, cup
r – rip, ram, rat, rocket, carrot

Set 5:
h – had, him, his, hot, hut
b – but, big, back, bed, bus
f, ff – of, if, off, fit, fog, puff
l, ll – let, leg, lot, bell, doll
ss – less, hiss, mass, mess, boss

Phase 2 tricky words:
the, to, no, go, I, into

 

Letters and Sounds Phase 3

In Phase 3, children build on the letter-sound correspondences learned in Phase 2. They learn consonant digraphs (sounds made up of two letters together such as ‘ch’ or ‘ll’) and long vowel sounds (such as ‘igh’ or ‘ai’).

Set 6:
j – jet, jam, jog, Jan
v – van, vet, velvet
w – wig, will, web
x – fox, box, six

Set 7:
y – yes, yet, yell
z – zip, zig-zag
zz – buzz, jazz
qu – quit, quick, liquid

Consonant digraphs:
ch – chip, chat, rich
sh – shop, shed, fish
th – thin, moth, that
ng – ring, thing, song

Vowel digraphs and trigraphs:
ai – rain, tail, aim
ee – bee, leek, see
igh – high, sigh, might
oa – boat, toad, foal
oo – boot, food, moon
oo – book, wood, foot
ar – park, art, car
or – for, torn, fork
ur – hurt, fur, surf
ow – cow, owl, town
oi – coin, boil, oil
ear – dear, shear, year
air – fair, pair, hair
ure – sure, pure, manure
er – dinner, summer, letter

Phase 3 tricky words:
he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her

 

Letters and Sounds Phase 4

Children will consolidate their knowledge during this phase and they will learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants (for example, trap, strong, milk and crept).

Phase 4 tricky words:
said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what

 

Letters and Sounds Phase 5

Children will learn some new graphemes for reading. They will also be taught alternative pronunciations for known graphemes. For example, they have already learned ow as in cow and will now learn ow as in blow.

In addition, they will learn alternative spellings for known phonemes. For example, the sound /igh/ has been learned as the grapheme igh as in ‘night’, but can also be spelled yie, and i-e.

New graphemes for reading:
ay – day, play, crayon
ou – cloud, sound, about
ie – pie, tie, cried
ea – sea, meat, read
oy – toy, enjoy, boy
ir – bird, shirt, first
ue – blue, true, glue
aw – paw, claw, yawn
wh – wheel, whisper, when
ph – photo, dolphin, alphabet
ew – new, crew, flew
oe – toe, foe, tomatoes
au – Paul, launch, haul
a-e – make, game, snake
e-e – these, Eve, extreme
i-e – like, time, slide
o-e – home, bone, pole
u-e – rule, June, flute

Phase 5 tricky words:
oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could

 

Letters and Sounds Phase 6

In Phase 6 children will read with increasing fluency. They will have learned most of the common letter-sound correspondences and can read familiar words automatically without needing to sound out and blend.

Children will work on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters, and so on.

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about our phonics and reading approach in school, please ask to speak to a member of the 'My Communication' team who will be more than happy to help.

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