Phonics at St Silas Primary School

At St Silas Primary School, we have developed our own Phonics Programme of Study. This incorporates ‘Letters and Sounds (phases 1-4) and ‘Key Stage One Phonics Planning’ devised by ’School Improvement Liverpool. We also used the ‘Jolly Phonics’ scheme to support the teaching of phonics across Early Years and Key Stage One. In Early Years, children are introduced to the 44 phonemes of the English language, and in Key Stage 1 they are given opportunities to apply previously learnt graphemes and explore alternative representations of phonemes and graphemes

For letter formation we use Read, Write Inc. before children progress onto the ‘Nelson’ school handwriting scheme. 

Phonics sessions take place daily in small focused groups for all Early Years and Key Stage 1 children. Children in Pre-Nursery and Nursery have daily exposure of phase 1 and 2 phonics in their classroom environment, and in small groups with their key person. 

Within daily phonics sessions children are taught five key skills. They learn how to: 

  • Recognise a new phoneme/grapheme
  • Correctly form graphemes – in line with school handwriting policy
  • Blend and segment sounds in words
  • Identify the sounds in words
  • Read and write tricky/high frequency words

Phonics sessions are active and multi-sensory in order to cater for all learners, supporting findings from the Rose Report (2006). Each session follows a revisit, teach, practice and apply structure. Teachers of phonics evaluate each session to inform the following session. The fifth session of the week is focused on application of the learning that has taken place.

Phonics assessment is ongoing formative assessment by teachers during and after the sessions, and each half term children complete a summative phonics assessment. This is to ensure all children are making progress and to identify any gaps in attainment and progress.

Children who do not reach the national standard at the end of Year 1 are given extra support (through the school’s Hit Squad model) during Year 2 to help them achieve the national standard at the end of Key Stage 1.

We fully believe that children learn best when they are given opportunities to practise their new learning at home. We work very closely with our parents to ensure that they have the knowledge and resources to support their children. We hold a number of phonics workshops throughout the year, which are always well attended.

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