Phonics

Curriculum Intent

At St Michael & All Angels we embed phonics learning by teaching high quality, stimulating and active sessions in a systematic way. We use the Lancashire 'Red Rose Letters and Sounds' as a systematic scheme. This ensures that all pupils develop a secure understanding of letters and sounds, enabling them to read with fluency and apply knowledge and skills to spell accurately within their writing across the curriculum.

Phonics is taught as part of a broad and rich curriculum that engages children in a range of activities and experiences to develop their reading, writing and spelling.  It is multi-sensory, encompassing simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities that are fun and engaging for all children. It is taught daily in discrete 20 minute sessions and phonics knowledge and skills are reinforced and applied across the curriculum.

Supporting documents

These documents show the sequence in which the phonemes, HFWs and tricky words are taught in Phases 2 to 5.

These documents shows the year group trajectory and termly expectations.

What is phonics?

Watch this fun animation to find out about phonics and understand the key aspects of learning to read using phonics.

Supporting your child at home

There are so many easy things you can do to help support your child in their phonics learning. Here are a few ideas:

1. Talk, talk, talk!

As a parent, you are the model of good speaking and listening. Regularly introduce new words (vocabulary). For example, for the word big you could also introduce large, huge, or enormous. Encourage them to say the word too. This is not about reading the words but about your child hearing and saying them.

2. Read to and with your child

This models good reading skills and promotes reading enjoyment. Have a special book box or bag where your child can keep the stories and any other texts, such as comics or non-fiction books, you’ve read together recently. Re-read these so that over time your child builds up their stock of stories and texts they know well.

Ebooks are another lovely way to share a story or non-fiction book together. Just make sure eBook reading is balanced with reading hard copy books so your child experiences all the different skills required for reading from a page and reading from a screen. Oxford Owl has a free ebook library where you can read together online.

3. Sing!

Teach nursery rhymes and songs and make lots of opportunities to sing and recite them.

4. Pronounce words and sounds clearly

In all games and activities make sure you pronounce the speech sounds clearly and as short as possible. Do not make them too long. For example, the letter ‘m’ has a short /m/ sound not a continuous /mmmmmmm/ sound. Try not to add an extra sound onto the speech sound too. For example, the sound is /m/ NOT /m-uh/.

5. Rhyming games and activities

These kinds of games are fun to do and will support your child in hearing speech sounds that are the same and that are different.

6. Play phonics games

Play simple phonics word games based on the sounds your child is learning and has learned at school. If you are unsure what sounds your child has been learning in school, ask the class teacher. They will be happy to share this with you.

7. Model blending

Start off using just the speech sounds and then immediately say the word. For example, At the shop I will buy a… /m/ /a/ /p/ – map, a /b/ /e/ /d/ – bed, a /d/ /u/ /ck/ – duck. Encourage your child to join in with you after you have this modelled for them. Then say the sounds and ask your child to say the whole word.

Below you will find some links to online phonics games.

Phonics Bloom

Topmarks

PhonicsPlay

Letters and Sounds

How to pronounce pure sounds

Watch the video from Oxford Owl that demonstrates how to pronounce all 44 phonemes used in the English language.

Phonics Screening Check

What is the phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check contains 40 words divided into two sections of 20 words. Both sections contain a mixture of real words and pseudo-words.

Pseduo-words are words that are phonically decodable but are not actual words with an associated meaning.

Pseudo-words are included in the check specifically to assess whether your child can decode a word using their phonics skills.

All pseudo-words in the check are accompanied by a picture of an imaginary creature. Children are taught that when a word has a creature next to it, it is a pseudo-word. This is to ensure that they are not trying to match the pseudo-word to a word in their vocabulary.

The check is designed to give teachers information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.