Phonics consists of the skills of segmentation and blending, knowledge of the alphabetic code and understanding of the principles which underpin how children learn to read and write. Here at Sacred Heart, children in EYFS and KS1 and (those in KS2 who require it) receive daily phonics sessions through supportive, differentiated group work.
Teachers use progressive planning from Little Wandle. Focused activities allow children to revisit, learn, practise and apply their knowledge and understanding in fun and engaging games and activities. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds through words for reading, and how to segment the sounds for spelling. There are weekly review sessions which identify pupils who are struggling with a particular sound and are then placed into ‘keep up’ groups. The groups are fluid and allow for pupils to be placed into groups according to their need at that time.
In Reception and Year 1 children are formally assessed every half term by class teachers. When children reach the summer term of Year 1, their phonic knowledge is assessed through the statutory phonics screening check. It can also be repeated during Year 2 to monitor progress and identify those children in need of intervention.
In KS2 children continue with phonics, applying their phonic knowledge to spell new words.