At Holy Family Catholic Primary School we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme. ‘Letters and Sounds’ is a systematic synthetic phonics programme that is used to support children with their reading and spelling.
The ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme consists of 6 phases taught throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. The children gradually progress through the phases.
Phase 1 focuses on discriminating sounds, alliteration, voice sounds, recognising rhythm and rhyme and then moving onto oral blending and segmenting.
Phases 2 to 6 work in a systematic way, teaching each letter of the alphabet (grapheme) and the sound it makes (phoneme). Moving on to digraphs (two letters that make one sound) and tri-graphs (three letters that make one sound). Oral blending and segmenting progresses into blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. Each phase also teaches a list of high frequency and tricky words.
Children are given the opportunity within their lessons to read and write words and sentences. Alongside we also teach sentence structure, grammar and punctuation. If you would like any further support or information on the teaching of phonics please ask your child’s class teacher.
Useful websites to support the teaching of Phonics.
Phonics: – http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk
We use a range of reading books to support children to progress to being fluent readers. The main scheme is Oxford Reading Tree however this is supplemented with books which support the synthetic phonics that we teach through letters and sounds.
Reading is taught through reciprocal reading sessions where we teach the skills of reading and comprehension from EYFS to Y6. We also use shared texts and individual reading where appropriate. Parents support the progress in reading by sharing books at home, we ask that this is done at least three times a week. We use reading diaries to monitor what and when children are reading out of school. We have a selection of school library books which parents and children are encouraged to take home.
Reading remains a focus for our school improvement plan for 2017 – 2018 despite a 20% increase in attainment at the end of KS2 2017.
Throughout the year we regularly arrange themed weeks, author visits, book fairs and sponsored reads in order to promote and foster a love of reading.
As a school we deliver the HeadStart Spelling programme in Years 1 to 6. Children are given sets of spellings to learn over a four-week period based on a spelling pattern. The children are taught the spellings in class through the ‘look, cover, write, check’ method as well as through a range of games and activities.
The activities provided by the HeadStart Spelling programme allow the children to practice the words in a meaningful and exciting way. Many of the activities have a game element to them, so the children will not regard them as copying exercises, and most of the activities make the important link of putting the word into context. The nature of the activities becomes increasingly challenging as the children get older and is appropriate for each age level.