Understanding Phonics

Phonics is a system that helps us understand how words are formed. Words are built out of small units of sounds called phonemes. Phonics is the connection of these units of sound with the letter symbols (called graphemes). Using this system of learning enables fluent reading and writing. If you take the word ‘frog’ for example, although it consists of a single syllable, it contains four different phonemes: /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/.

How Phonics and Reading are Taught

Our approach to learning phonics in EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and KS1 (Key Stage 1) is through using Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics as well as Jolly Phonics.  We have a multisensory approach in EYFS and by using Jolly Phonics the pupils are provided with a picture, a song and an action to help them learn each different sound. This is an effective and interactive way for young learners to recall phonemes.  

Letters and Sounds provides us with games and resources to support our teaching of phonics. It aims to build pupils’ speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils to learn to read, by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Throughout KS1, pupils are provided with a range of fiction and non-fiction books which are regularly changed to aid progression with their reading. We use a range of  popular and well-  established reading schemes including 'Bug Club' which are banded. In addition to this, books from the Project X reading programme are incorporated to create further enjoyment for 21st century children.   

As pupils move into KS2 (Key Stage 2), they continue to use a range of reading scheme books in order that they learn more advanced deduction and inference skills. The school also uses the 'Bug Club' scheme, which is closely linked to the programme used in KS1. To provide variety, pupils also have access to other scheme books and a range of texts written by popular authors.

Our pupils learn through a creative topic based curriculum which provides them with the skills to research a theme using a variety of non-fiction texts.