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Heatherlands Primary School

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Phonics

Miss Lynam - Phonics Champion

Heatherlands Primary Phonics Sequence of Learning

Phonics Screening

 

What is the Phonics Screening Check?

 

The Year 1 phonics screening check is not a formal test, but it is a ‘light touch’ statutory assessment that schools must administer. It gives a view of pupils ability to apply their phonic skills and if they have reached age related expectations. The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England during the month of June. It is designed to give teachers and parent’s information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

The Year 1 phonics screening check is not a formal test, but it is a ‘light touch’ statutory assessment that schools must administer. It gives a view of pupils ability to apply their phonic skills and if they have reached age related expectations. The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England during the month of June. It is designed to give teachers and parent’s information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

 

What is in the Phonics Screening Check?

The Phonics Screening check consists of 40 words that assess phonics skills and knowledge learned throughout Reception and Year 1. There is a combination of 20 real words and 20 ‘pseudo-words’ (nonsense words/’alien’ words). Children sit the check on a 1:1 basis with their class teacher. There is no time limit but children normally complete the check in one sitting (around 5-10 minutes). It is not a stressful situation: your child’s class teacher will be well-equipped to listen and understand your child’s level of skills. There will be a few practice words first to make sure your child understands the activity and feels comfortable.

 

What are nonsense/pseudo words and why are they included?

These are words that are phonically decodable but are not actual words with an associated meaning e.g. brip, snorb. Pseudo words are included in the check specifically to assess whether your child can decode a word using phonics skills and not their word memory.

The pseudo words will be shown to your child with a picture of an alien and they will be asked to tell their teacher what sort of alien it is by reading the word. This not only makes the check a bit more fun, but provides the children with a context for the nonsense word which is independent from any existing vocabulary they may have. Crucially, it does not provide any clues, so your child just has to be able to decode it. Children generally find ‘alien words’ amusing so they will probably enjoy reading these words!

 

Is there a pass mark?

Since first introducing the phonics screening check, the government has set the ‘pass rate’ at 32 marks (out of 40). However, the check is not about ‘passing or failing’ but assessing if appropriate progress is being made. If children do not reach the required standard, then we will offer additional, tailored support to ensure that your child can catch up. Children progress at different speeds so not reaching the threshold score does not necessarily mean there is a serious problem. Your child will re-sit the check the following summer term in Year 2.

 

What happens to the results?

We will report your child’s results to you by the end of the summer term as well as to the local authority. The schools results are not published to the general public. Ofsted can access the schools results as one of the schools performance measures. If you have any concerns, do talk to your teacher about this in a parents’ meeting or after school. We run a f parent workshop regarding the phonics screening check in the spring term which year 1 parents will be invited to attend.

 

Do all schools and children have to participate?

All schools and academies in England must take part in the phonics screening check unless they are an independent school. There is a process in place for reviewing children with special educational needs, so if your child’s teacher thinks there are very special reasons related to your child and their needs that make them think the phonics screening check may not be appropriate, they will decide on appropriate action and discuss this with you.

 

Further areas for supporting your child prepare

Phonics Screening Parent Workshop

Sounds Mat

 

Other websites to support practice phonic skills

 

www.phonicsplay.co.uk

 

 

Phonics Play – Phonics activities and games

This website is used in school. There are some free games that can be played or a subscription can be paid to access the full site. By the end of Reception, children should be Phase 3 Secure By the end of Year 1 children should be Phase 5 Secure

 

www.phonicsbloom.co.uk

 

 

Phonics Bloom– Phonics activities and games

By the end of Reception, children should be Phase 3 Secure By the end of Year 1 children should be Phase 5 Secure

 

www.letters-and-sounds.com

 

 

Letters and Sounds – Phonics activities and games

By the end of Reception, children should be Phase 3 Secure By the end of Year 1 children should be Phase 5 Secure. There is also high frequency word lists to practice.

 

www.teachyourmonstertoread.com

 

 

Teach your Monster to Read – Reading and phonics support

 

www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/shows/alphablocks

 

 

 Cbeebies Alphablocks – Reading and phonics support

Teaching 'Tricky' High-Frequency Words

 

There are 100 common words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read and that they need when they write. Most of these are decodable, by sounding and blending, assuming the grapheme–phoneme correspondences are known, but only 26 of the high-frequency words are decodable by the end of Phase Two.

 

Reading a group of these words each day, by applying grapheme–phoneme knowledge as it is acquired, will help children recognise them quickly. However, in order to read simple captions it is necessary also to know some words that have unusual or untaught GPCs (‘tricky’ words) and these need to be learned.

 

                                                                    

 

 

 

Phonics Friday

Phonics Rationale

 

At Heatherlands Primary School, we believe that the ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners, during their time at school and beyond. Reading is central to our ability to understand, interpret and communicate with each other and the world around us. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of phonics. We have developed and mapped out the progression of phonics across Early Years and Key Stage 1 to ensure the effectiveness of the teaching and learning of phonics.

 

At Heatherlands we use systematic teaching of phonics to support children in learning to read and write. It is proven that high quality phonic teaching can substantially reduce the number of children at risk of falling below age-related expectations for reading. As children progress in their phonic knowledge, they will move on from learning letters and the sounds they make, to using and applying their phonic knowledge to blending and segmenting words for reading and spelling. We give the children the opportunity to use and apply their phonic learning through multi-sensory games and activities so that they then use this in their independent reading and writing.

 

Aims

 

Our aims are for all children at Heatherlands Primary School to:

  • Be taught high-quality systematic phonic lessons
  • Learn the correspondence between graphemes in written language and phonemes in spoken language (GPC)
  • Be able to orally blend and segment
  • Have knowledge of the alphabetic code and skills for blending for reading
  • Have knowledge of the alphabetic code and skills for segmenting for spelling
  • Have a bank of high frequency words which they can recognise by sight
  • Understand and use the technical vocabulary related to phonics
  • Have their progress tracked through effective assessment, to enable teachers to make informed decisions about planning for the next steps
  • Have a rich and varied environment which they can access to support their phonic knowledge and application
  • Have access to books that are phonetically decodable through Phases 1 to 5, alongside books that develop their sight vocabulary and support other strategies for reading

 

Action and Implementation

 

  • In Early Years children will be taught phonics through the teaching of ‘Letters and Sounds’ using ‘Jolly Phonics’ as a memory aid.
  • Children in Year 1 continue to follow the letters and sounds program until they are secure at phase 5.
  • Children in Year 2 continue to have daily phonics lessons and those who were not secure at phase 5 when leaving year 1 or who did not pass the phonics screening check receive additional phonics intervention sessions.
  • Children from Year 2 to Year 6 will revisit and expand on their phonic knowledge through the teaching of GPS (grammar, punctuation and spelling) lessons.

 

Early Years and Key Stage 1

 

  • Daily phonics lessons, using Jolly Phonics and the Letters and Sounds document alongside the National Curriculum

 

Key Stage 2

 

  • Daily SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) activities included in English teaching linked to writing
  • Where appropriate targeted phonics lessons/activities depending on the need of the children
  • Reading intervention groups where appropriate
  • Weekly spelling investigations with focus on specific spelling patterns

 

Role of Parents and Carers

 

Phonics is most effective when children are given plenty of encouragement and learn to enjoy reading and books. Parents play a vital role in helping with this and at Heatherlands Primary School, we endeavour to support parents with this through regular communications such as home learning activities, parents’ evenings etc. We also lead regular phonic workshops in Early Years and Key Stage 1, with a focus on developing the parents’ subject knowledge in the teaching of phonics and supporting them to work alongside their child in phonic activities.  In addition, parents are given resource materials, suggested web links, video tutorials and strategies to help their child at home with phonics at these events. In Early Years, parents are invited into their child’s class for ‘Phonics Friday’ where they have a phonics lesson with their child. In the Spring Term once the children have been taught all 44 phonemes, games and activities linked to blending and segmenting will be sent home for consolidation.

 

H. Lynam

Phonics Champion

Letters and sounds order of teaching through the 3 phases. Orange = phase 2, purple = phase 3. Pink = phase 5 (alternative graphemes)

Early Years using phonics in the outside classroom, with magnetic boards and in multi-sensory ways. They are also playing a high frequency word game called red word puddles.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Still image for this video
Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter Lucy.

Letters and Sounds

Phonics Screening Check

 

The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child's phonics knowledge. It helps the school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils in the country.

 

 

                                     

Year 1 Phonics Trends

 

2017

2018

2019

 

75.6%

 

 

87.6%

 

74.4%

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