Phonics is the key strategy taught to enable children to read the words they see and to support the words they write, particularly in the early stages of literacy. We follow the ’Letters and sounds’ programme, beginning in the Nursery and through to Year2. By developing sound skills in phonics, children will be confident to tackle new words in reading and writing.
Children from Nursery to Year 2 will experience structured phonics teaching daily and from Year 3 onwards children who are not yet confident will receive phonics teaching in small groups as appropriate. Phonics teaching will include whole class, small group work and practical activities and application.
First experience of phonics is building awareness of sounds, both letter sounds and sounds in the environment, rhyme and rhythm. Children then learn the sounds that individual letters make and listen for them in different positions in the word. They practice building consonant- vowel - consonant words such as c-a-t or r-u-g and learn the sounds that different combinations of sounds make such as sh and ow. They learn how to blend sounds and segment words for reading and writing, and the correct terms such as phoneme and digraph.
Children’s phonic skills are tested formally at the end of year 1 and year 2. The test assesses children’s ability to decode unfamiliar words alongside their ability to discriminate real words from nonsense ones.
At Malmesbury Park we value phonic skills as the key to making the best start with literacy and as such we are enhancing children’s reading experiences with books that are matched to the development of phonic skills, particularly in Reception and Year 1 classes.