Phonics is the specific teaching of the sounds that form words to aid spelling and reading. It is taught in short sessions throughout Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Children still requiring phonics support into Key Stage 2 will get additional interventions, usually in the afternoon.
Letters and Sounds
At Icknield, we use the Letters and Sounds scheme to teach phonics. The following website shows the different sounds and the order in which they are taught: http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/. We are also using the Storytime Phonics scheme as a key resource in Reception and Year 1.
The order in which this is taught is outlined in the following document:
The Phonics Screening Check
Children are assessed for their knowledge and application of phonics in Year 1 during a Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. This is a national test which involves children reading phonetic words (both real and made up). To see a sample of the Phonics Check, please click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/324044/STA147079e.pdf
Children need to meet the threshold score (usually set at 32 marks out of 40) to be said to be 'Working At' (WA) the expected level. Below this, they are said to be 'Working Towards' (WT). Children who have not met the expected standard are re-tested in Year 2.
Our results for 2016/17 were as follows:
Supporting Your Child
Here are some tips or activities to do with your child to support him or her with phonics:
1. Get to grips with what is being taught in your child's year group.
Knowing what's going on and when is important because you can follow up learning that's been happening at school at home. Use the documents above as well as homework activities to work out what sounds to practice. Phonics requires very careful sound pronunciation. To help, watch the video in the 'Phonics Gallery' which show the sounds and how to say them!
2. Play games and have fun!
There are lots of fun games out there and resources which can be bought or made to support the learning of phonics. The Letters and Sounds website, given above, is a good place to start.
3. Reading stories together
All stories contain sounds and no matter what level the book is, your child will be able to recognise sounds, especially at the beginning and end of words. Look for sounds together, find similar sounds and share books together to help your child learn.