How we Teach Phonics at Great Harwood Primary School
The processes of blending sounds for reading and segmenting sounds for writing needs to be made enjoyable and easy for children to understand and apply. The best route for children to become fluent and independent readers and writers lies in securing phonics as the prime approach to decoding and encoding unfamiliar words.
Children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One follow a systematic phonics approach using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme. Children in Nursery and Reception also use the ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions and songs to support their learning. We strive to ensure that our phonics sessions are a fun, active and multi-sensory approach to teaching reading and writing.
There are six incremental phases. Phase One begins in Nursery and concentrates on activities that promote speaking and listening skills as well as developing early phonological awareness. Children are encouraged to listen to the sounds around them such as bird song, sounds their toys make and musical instruments and recreate them. They become aware of rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending or segmenting of sounds in words. The practitioners strive to provide broad and rich language experiences for the children. Stories are read and enjoyed daily and a variety of nursery rhymes, songs and accompanying actions are taught.
In Reception and Key Stage One phonics is taught in discrete daily sessions, with ample opportunities for children to independently practise and apply their phonic skills throughout the day. Each phase builds on the skills and knowledge of previous learning to ensure that by the end of Key Stage One children develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling.