The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.
What is Phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read. Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words.
Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.
Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.
At Weetwood we recognise reading as a key life skill, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. Our aim is for all pupils to read words and simple sentences by the end of Reception, become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1 and develop a lifelong love of reading as they move through school.
Through daily, systematic and consistent high-quality phonics teaching, children learn to blend and segment words for reading and spelling. To allow our children to develop a strong phonic awareness and effective blending, decoding and comprehension skills, we have chosen to use a synthetic phonics programme called Success for All Phonics from FFT. The programme supports our intentions to teach children to read and write independently so that they are able to access a broad and exciting curriculum and flourish as learners throughout their time at our school.
We maintain fidelity in the implementation of our phonics teaching by using FFT Success for All Phonics which allows the children to learn phonics through a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1, using a variety of fun activities in multi-sensory and systematic ways.
Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned and celebrate their achievements. It follows the teaching principles of:
· Revisit and review
· Teach and model
· Practise and apply
· Celebrate achievement and assess
Time is incorporated to allow for consolidation so that children can secure their skills, knowledge and understanding. The programme is underpinned by a set of seven core principles designed to support all teachers and children. Which are described in more detail in the Programme Guide.
1. Systematic Progression
2. Regular Assessment
3. Early Intervention
4. Multisensory Approach
5. Co-operative Learning
6. Application of Skills
7. Reduced Workload and Collegiate Approach
Reading materials have been designed to support rapid and sustained progress and are well matched to the scope and sequence of the programme. A comprehensive set of 68 decodable shared readers is provided by the programme and additional materials that a school already has that matches the sequence can be used to supplement early reading.
The FFT Success for All Phonics Scope and Sequence is set out clearly and provides detailed guidance and support for teachers to plan and deliver high quality lessons. A synthetic approach to teaching ‘pure sounds’ and the skills of segmenting and blending are incorporated into the teaching and learning materials. Lessons are planned so that children build on their skills sequentially and systematically and can be adapted and modified to meet the needs of the children accordingly.
Training and support is offered through Success for All Phonics and FFT and our school support staff through this training offer. All staff are given the skills, knowledge and understanding to deliver high-quality phonics lessons and to achieve strong and sustained pupil outcomes in phonics and early reading and writing.
Through the consistent, systematic and daily teaching of the FFT Success for All Phonics programme, our aim is for children to become fluent, confident readers by the end of Key Stage One.
Children are regularly assessed informally by the teacher within the lessons and over a sequence of lessons to ensure they keep up. If children need additional support, they are provided with keep up sessions to ensure they stay on track with the rest of the class. More formal assessments are completed every half term using FFT’s Reading Assessment Programme which covers all KS1 assessments including phonics skills, decoding, reading fluency, comprehension and the Year 1 phonics screening check.
Children who require additional support are identified using a range of assessment information and will be supported through small group or one to one interventions such as Tutoring with The Lightning Squad, a reading tutoring programme where pupils work in small groups with a tutor to improve their reading skills. The tutoring is a blended approach with face-to-face tutoring supported by an online tutoring platform. The tutoring activities are designed and structured to improve reading skills, fluency, comprehension, spelling and phonics.
At the end of Year 1 children are statutorily assessed using the Phonics Screening Check. This screening check confirms whether the child has met the appropriate phonics standard and can be used diagnostically to identify areas that need further attention going forward. Children who do not meet the required standard will continue their phonics lessons so that they are ready to retake the screening at the end of Year 2.
Through the FFT Success for All Phonics programme and our commitment to phonics teaching, children will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to decode unfamiliar words using a range of strategies. They will have a firm phonic base to support them on their literacy journey through school. They will develop their fluency and comprehension skills, take pleasure in exploring the rich literary world around them, acquire a love of reading and flourish as readers.
To find out more information about FFT – Success for All phonics visit the website below.