Phonics is taught in both Nursery and Reception and into Key Stage One. At Stainton C of E Primary School we follow the Twinkl Phonics Scheme. This is a fully comprehensive, synthetic phonics teaching programme which has been approved by the Department for Education.
Twinkl Phonics uses a fun, multi-sensory approach. The children learn and repeat their sounds or phonemes using mnemonics, actions and songs. It supports children's awareness of sounds and the emphasis is on blending and segmenting sounds to read and write. The sounds are not taught in alphabetical order, but instead are taught in an order that enables them to be used for reading and writing as soon as possible.
The single most important thing you can do to support your child effectively with phonics is to pronounce pure sounds as your children are taught to in school.
This means without adding an extra 'uh' on the end of sounds e.g. we say 'mmmmm' rather than 'muh'. This makes it easier for the children to blend the sounds into words or segment words for writing, as no extra sounds are accidentally inserted into words.
Here is a link to a video which demonstrates how each sound or phoneme should be articulated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFjzVBjQoC4
At Stainton C of E Primary School we strive to ensure all children become successful, fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ culture.
The children progress through the Twinkl Phonics scheme in different levels.
Level 1 - this is a vital phase and one that should not be rushed. It begins in Nursery but we continue it in Reception as it is the precursor to blending and segmenting and so lays the foundation for all our phonics teaching. Level 1 focuses on auditory discrimination, developing listening skills, making sounds with their voices, instruments or bodies, the development of rhyming and syllable awareness and culminates in children developing the skill of oral blending and segmenting.
Level 2 - This focuses on the single letter sounds of the alphabet and then begins to introduce the children to some consonant digraphs. A digraph is when two letters or graphemes make one sound or phoneme e.g. ck, ff, ss etc. Children are taught how to break down words into their individual sounds in order to read and how to segment words into their individual sounds in order to spell them in their writing. This level is taught during the Autumn Term in the Reception Year.
Level 3 - This continues to build on all the skills introduced in Level 2. New consonant and vowel digraphs and trigraphs are taught e.g. ai, ee, igh, ure etc. A trigraph is when three letters or graphemes make one sound or phoneme. This level is taught during the Spring Term in the Reception Year.
Level 4 - This is a consolidation phase where all the skills and phonemes are embedded. The focus of this level is application of the children's phonics knowledge when reading and writing. It also introduces words with adjacent consonants e.g. frog, nest, sleep and dress.