Phonics sessions are taught daily at Lambs Lane Primary School from the beginning of Foundation Stage to the end of Year 2, following the Letters and Sounds Scheme of work. The Letters and Sounds scheme is grouped into phases and pupils progress from phase 1 to phase 6, with pupils being taught in differentiated ability groups.
These phases ensure that children progress from talking about and exploring sounds, through to understanding what graphemes and phonemes are. Pupils learn about GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences), consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs. Children develop knowledge of how to blend and segment the phonemes within words, including those with adjacent consonants. Within phase 5, pupils progress to learning about split digraphs, alternative pronunciations of the same grapheme, and alternative representations of the same phoneme.
The reading and spelling of high frequency words are taught throughout the academic year, as part of phonic development, along with how to spell tricky words which may not fit conventional spelling rules.
Children that have reached Phase 6 and those in key stage 2, concentrate on developing spelling rules. As a school we follow the Read Write Inc. spelling programme which is taught daily for 15 minutes covering all the spelling requirements of the National Curriculum. Using a proven approach underpinned by phonics, the programme also includes preparation for the statutory spelling assessments.
Phonics and spelling is taught in a variety of ways, including high quality modelling of sounding out, decoding, segmenting and blending strategies. Interactive resources and games are used and children are given the opportunity to rehearse sounds verbally and record them in written work. Sessions are structured to build on previous learning and introduce new skills and subject knowledge. Sessions often follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model.
Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before.