At Temple Normanton Junior Academy phonics is taught from Foundation Stage 1 through to Year 2 using a systematic, synthetic approach. We follow the Letters and Sounds publication which has been adapted by ACET to ensure the teaching sequence allows confident acquisition of phonemes, develops fluency and is matched to our reading scheme.
The Letters and Sounds framework has been divided by phase and then into sub-phases to support phonics acquisition and to allow children to achieve the small milestones of each one. The sequence overview is ambitious and has been designed to consolidate all previously taught phonics while children are acquiring new phonics knowledge.
All children are assessed using the ACET assessment booklets and are grouped based on their current phonic level. Children will then be taught the appropriate sub-phase over the 6-week cycle before they are assessed again and regrouped. A keep up programme will run alongside this to ensure all children still have the opportunity to acquire the phonemes appropriate for their year group.
Discrete phonics lessons take place daily across Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. For Phase 1 (taught in FS1) children will complete activities in small groups that develop their speaking and listening skills and lay the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Children will use Phase 1 books to orally tell stories.
Lessons for Phases 2 to 5 follow the structure of ‘Review, Teach, Practise, Apply’ to ensure that children are consolidating phonic knowledge and skills over time and that they are able to apply them in context. During lessons there are opportunities for discussing new vocabulary and ensuring letter formation is correct.
By the end of Foundation Stage children at the ‘expected’ level will be secure in phase 3d. Children who achieve the ‘exceeded’ grade will be working at phase 4 or above.
By the end of Year 1 children at age related expectations (ARE) will be secure in phase 5f.
By the end of Year 2 children at ARE will be secure in phase 6.
Children in Foundation Stage who are working below ARE will take part in small focus group phonics sessions to be taught the age related phonemes in addition to their discrete daily phonics lesson at their current phase.
Children in Year 1 who are working below ARE will be part of an afternoon ‘keep up programme’ where they are taught age related phonemes to ensure they are able to access and pass the Phonics Screening Check. This will be monitored through rigorous tracking.
The keep up programme will also be available to children in Year 2 or above as intervention sessions to reteach and consolidate specific phoneme acquisition based on individual needs. The phonics assessment booklet will highlight any gaps in learning.
There might be times when a child requires phonics teaching in KS2, this is when a gap in their understanding of a particular phase is identified. With the support of the Phonics and Early Reading Lead, these children, who are not yet reading fluently, will be quickly identified, assessed and supported through interventions.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
This is a formal test that the children take at the end of Year 1. They will complete it 1 to 1 with a teacher in school. The test is a list of 40 real and pseudo (alien) words. As a child goes through the test they are expected to apply more advanced phonics skills. The pass mark changes year to year but it is usually 32+. Children who do not pass in Year 1 are required to retake the test at the end of Year 2.
At Temple Normanton Junior Academy we will prepare children for this test from FS2 onwards in an informal and fun way. Children will practise the skills needed to pass through games and hands on activities. Their progress will be tracked and shared with parents regularly and any additional support needed will be put in place. Any children who do not achieve 40 words will continue to receive phonics teaching to help consolidate their learning and help them become more fluent readers.