At Tiverton Academy we recognise that whilst phonics is not the only route to reading and writing, it is without doubt a highly effective and systematic approach that supports and challenges children of all backgrounds and abilities, as they acquire, rehearse and perfect the skills to be effective readers and writers.
From first steps in Nursery, where Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds is introduced, our children learn to discriminate between different environmental and musical sounds, before progressing to making sounds with their bodies and voices. These experiences are delivered through play, exploration and exposure to a range of different media, as part of our continuous provision. This provision continues into Reception.
From Reception onwards children take part in daily 20 minute phonic lessons delivered with a visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approach to engage all learners at the appropriate level. Lessons are well paced, highly engaging and require all children to be active participants in their learning.
Phonic lessons follow the structure of:
Children are regularly assessed enabling individual progress to be carefully monitored. Importantly, this facilitates the early identification of children requiring personalised intervention, or indeed extra challenge, to reach their fullest potential. Our assessment model for phonics has been designed in accordance with the Department for Education’s Letters and Sounds programme.
Our aim for a ‘typical’ phonic learning journey is:
Nursery: Letters and Sounds Phase 1 and Phase 2, as part of the continuous provision.
Reception: Letters and Sounds Phase 2 and 3 delivered through daily discrete, multi‐sensory sessions where the children both read and write; and as part of the continuous provision.
Year 1: Letter and Sounds Phase 4 and 5 delivered through daily, discrete, highly focussed teacher led sessions, moving to a focus on the application of writing and spelling.
Year 2: Letter and Sounds Phase 5 delivered through daily, discrete, highly focussed teacher led sessions, with a focus on the application of writing and spelling in context.
Year 3: and beyond: Children not reaching the expected levels of phonic knowledge by the end of year 2 i.e. phase 5, would continue to access dedicated phonic learning as required.
At Tiverton Academy we continuously encourage and teach the children to apply a range of skills required to read alongside their development of phonic skills. Children are encouraged to apply their skills to reading a wide range of high quality real books which motivate the children and develop a love of books and reading.
More information about the teaching of phonics can be found on the DfE website.
Children can have fun practising phonics at home on the Phonics play website.