At Ashleigh Primary School it is our intent that children access a daily phonics lesson that teaches them how to read and spell rapidly so that they can read fluently and know how to spell high frequency words and apply these in their writing by the end of Key Stage 1.
Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow the synthetic phonics approach, using the Twinkl Phonics programme. It’s an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words – we’ve produced a guide to help you with some of the terms and concepts (see link at bottom of the page).
We use a combination of reading schemes. These include Pearson bug club, Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. These give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range. Children learn to read at different rates. In Reception and Key Stage 1 children have reading books that match the phonics they are learning in school.
Our daily phonics sessions are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.
Twinkl phonics is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. They are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ – words with spellings that are unusual or that children have not yet been taught. These include the words ‘to’, ‘was’, ‘said’ and ‘the’ – you can’t really break the sounds down for such words so it’s better to just ‘recognise’ them.
At the end of Year 1 children undertake the Phonics Screening check which is a government assessment that checks if children can read real and nonsense words.