Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:
• recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes.
• identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as 'sh' or 'oo'; and
• blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to 'de-code' new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
Children receive daily phonics sessions in Early Years and KS1. Those children who require phonics in KS2 also receive Phonics sessions.
We use the Letters and Sounds Phonics scheme and incorporate Jolly Phonics actions to learn the sounds.
Letters and Sounds splits learning into 6 Phonic Phases.
Phase 1 develops children's ability to hear and distinguish sounds around them. It focuses on oral blending and segmenting and rhyming.
Phase 2 introduces letter sounds for reading and writing with a set of letters being taught weekly. It begins to look at blending for reading and segmenting for writing. A selection of 'tricky words' are taught during Phase 2.
Phase 3 introduces the rest of the individual letter sounds and diagraphs. Children will continue blending and segmenting and further tricky words are taught. Children will also learn the letter names of the alphabet during this phase.
Phase 4 helps build on the previous understanding of blending and segmenting and children gain experience of using words that have adjacent consonants such as trap, milk. No new sounds are taught.
Phase 5 introduces alternative graphemes for phonemes e.g. children will know /ai/ as in rain from phase 3 but they will learn that /ay/ as in day and /a_e/ as in make also make the /ai/ sound. They will also learn alternative pronunciations for graphemes e.g. ea – tea, head, break.
Phase 6 allows children to become fluent readers and accurate spellers.
We run regular phonics workshops for parents/carers of children in Reception and Y1 so they understand how we teach the children to read and so that they can support their child at home.
At Hugo Meynell, we believe in providing quality books for the children to read. We use Collins Big Cat Letters and Sounds phonetically decodable books to ensure that the texts the children are independently reading match their Phonics learning, allowing them to apply their learning whilst succeeding and gaining confidence with their reading. To compliment this, we use a range of different reading schemes so that the children are not familiar with only one style.
It is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who can understand a wide range of texts. Children need to read a range of genre so we have a good range of both fiction and non-fiction books in order to develop a range of reading skills. Our children read for interest, information and enjoyment. Reading is an empowering life skill so at Hugo Meynell, our commitment is to give children the best start and develop a love of books and reading for pleasure.
Our approach to teaching Reading
The teaching of reading at Hugo Meynell comprises the following elements:
• Guided reading
• Guided comprehension
Phonics – daily within FS2 and KS1 for all children and then as appropriate for children not yet achieving the expected level at KS 2.
• Modelled and shared reading within English as well as across the curriculum
• Individual reading when appropriate
• Daily story time
• Activities to support comprehension within reading
• Reading at home
Speaking and Listening
We recognise the importance of developing children's oral skills as the bedrock of any literacy development. Children's spoken language is assessed in Nursery or when they join the school in another year group. School staff are clear on the need to develop all children's spoken and receptive vocabulary, strategies for doing this are integral to everyday practise. Some children may need extra support and they follow individual programmes accordingly. Adults will use language frames to help teach good grammatically correct spoken language.
The Phonics skills which are taught in the Early Years lead into the development of writing skills. Children are encouraged to use their phonic skills to spell new words; they also have to learn to spell the key words for each year group. Children are expected to write grammatically correct sentences at an appropriate level and are given the support to do so. Correct spellings, neat and legible handwriting and accurate grammar are important. However, we also place a lot of value on the creative aspect of writing and we encourage children to write with imagination, confidence and flair. The school curriculum is designed to give children the stimuli and opportunities to use their writing skills effectively and imaginatively.
Please click on the menu links for more information about our English curriculum.