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 Year 2. 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 so that children can apply their knowledge of phonics to reading and writing.

The first phase of phonics involves building awareness of sounds, both letter sounds and sounds in the environment, rhyme and rhythm. athese skills underpin all phases of the phonics scheme. 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 to use the correct terms such as 'phoneme' and 'digraph'.

The Phonics Screen is a national assessment used formally at the end of year 1. The test assesses children’s ability to decode unfamiliar words, both real and nonsense. If children do not pass they will repeat the assessment at the end of Year 2.

At Malmesbury Park we believe phonic skills are the key to making the best start with literacy and as such we develop children’s early reading through books that are matched to the development of phonic skills, particularly in Reception and Year 1 classes.