At Bluecoat C of E Primary School emphasis is placed on the focused, consistent and progressive teaching and application of phonics skills. The teaching of phonics is an important aspect of our teaching for reading and spelling. The scheme that we use is Floppy's Phonics.
Floppy's Phonics is a systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme for early reading and writing. We use the interactive phonics lessons and activities to teach children the sounds in words and the code (letters) used to represent them. Children in Reception and Year 1 will take part in a daily phonics lesson. Each lesson begins by rapidly revisiting previously taught sounds and codes before being taught the next new sound. They will use the Floppy’s Phonics Sound Books to look for words which contain this new sound and discuss the meaning of any new vocabulary. They will practise forming the new code, reading words and sentences which contain it and complete spelling games too. This learning will transfer into their daily reading so children can apply and consolidate the new sound and code.
Phonics Revision Cards for Parents
Grapheme: The letter or letter group which is code for the sound.
Phoneme: The smallest identifiable sound of speech.
Blending: When reading a word, identify the graphemes in the word and say the corresponding sounds in order to hear the word as a whole,
e.g. read sh – o – p = shop
Segmenting: When spelling a word, break it down into the sounds you hear and write the grapheme for each identified sound,
e.g. say shop = writing sh – o – p
Decode: Breaking a word down into sounds to be able to read it.
Encode: Breaking a word down into sounds to be able to spell it.
Digraph: When two letters make one sound when they are together, e.g. boat
Trigraph: When three letters make one sound when they are together, e.g. night
Split Digraph: When two letters that are “split” by having another letter in the middle of them, e.g. a_e in game or i_e in tide.
Helpful Words: These are common or high frequency words with unusual spelling rules which means they can’t be decoded easily. Children will learn to recognise these words by sight.
In every lesson we should see…
Enthusiastic adults who provide inspiration to their pupils as readers and aim to support all children to be aspiring readers and writers
Progression of letters and sounds, with time built in for revision
Consistent use of vocabulary, including: phoneme, grapheme, sounding out, blending and segmenting. KS1 will also use the addition of digraphs, trigraphs, adjacent consonants (EYFS will use these terms as and when appropriate).
Consistent actions for sounding out and blending (begin with the thumb of the left hand, point to the next finger for each sound and then stroke across hand to blend)
Introduction of appropriate High Frequency Words for age group
Planning using the revisit/review, teach, practise, apply
Fluent and phrased reading – reading that sounds good at any level
Well organised enjoyable lessons with appropriate resources – make it fun!
Discussions – children talking about the sounds/words and linking to previous learning/what they already know.
Links – being made continually throughout the lessons at all levels and to prior learning in class and prior knowledge of the pupils.
Opportunities for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) as a focus or intertwined in relevant places throughout the session
Use of technical vocabulary throughout the session by adults and pupils
Using reading strategies appropriately – ensuring pupils are combining meaning, syntax and visual cues and are able to articulate what they are doing
Metacognition – the awareness of and ability to talk about what you are doing – this applies to all areas of the curriculum including phonics
Staff modelling sounding out and blending- both reading aloud so pupils can hear how good reading sounds and how punctuation works and also talking aloud their thought processes
Give pupils time to reflect and discuss their own learning from that session; What did you learn today?
Time for children to practise their new knowledge with success
Phonics Sessions at Bluecoat C of Primary School:
Have a particular focus on blending and segmenting
Are purposeful with a clear direction
Have a multi-sensory approach
Feature lots of success and praise
Build up stamina to read words, sentences and paragraphs
Practise phonemes blended all through the word
Practise phonemes blended from L-R
Demonstrates how words can be segmented
Allows children to apply phonic knowledge to reading, spelling and to irregular words
Include the correct High Frequency Words
Uses flashcards of sounds and words
Uses sound dashes to demonstrate graphemes, digraphs, trigraphs
Uses assessments to feed into class interventions
Have a clear routine
Use the planning format from Floppy's Phonics
Have pace and are kept to 45 minutes
Practise to use what the children know and to teach what the children don’t know
Check the knowledge and understanding of a sound, letter, word, sentence
Use the term ‘alien word’ for pseudo words and we also say ‘these words don’t make sense’
Sound and blend, by sounding phonemes onto fingers and ‘swiping’ them together to blend
Use the term ‘adjacent consonants’ for kn/mb etc
Use phoneme for the sound
Use grapheme for writing down a sound
Use digraph for a grapheme with two letters that makes one sound
Use trigraph for a grapheme with three letters that makes one sound
Use Blending when looking at a written word to work out the phonemes represented by a grapheme and merging the phonemes together to make a word
Use segmenting when you hear a work, split it into the phonemes which make it and putting them in the right order
Will introduce the correct vocabulary for: phoneme, grapheme, blending and segmenting and consistent use of signs to support this vocabulary including:
Use a phone action for a phoneme
Use a writing action for a grapheme
‘Stretch’ their words out to break the sounds down (with a stretching action)
Partition the ‘apply’ section of the phonics session, so that the phonics session remains 20 minutes and manageable. The application of phonics writing is done later.
Other elements we may see include...
Sound dashes used
Alien words (alongside - these words don’t make sense)
Use of flashcards for words and sounds
Use of ICT