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.
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.
Our aims are for all children at Heatherlands Primary School to:
Action and Implementation
Early Years and Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
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.
Useful web links for the teaching of phonics:
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