Phonics at Cardwell Primary School
Evidence shows phonics teaching is most effective when taught as part of a language-rich curriculum… Phonic decoding is the skill which underpins successful reading, but we recognise that it is not an end in itself, and that schools should be teaching other aspects of reading…We do not underestimate the importance of teaching wider reading skills. (DFE 2011)
What is phonics?
Phonics is a key aspect in developing reading and spelling. Phonics is the practice of blending letter sounds (known as phonemes) to make words when reading and segmenting words into sounds to help with spelling.
Phonics is taught every day at Cardwell and lasts for 20 minutes from Nursery to Year 2. Further phonic teaching and support then continues into Key Stage 2. Children learn phonics through hearing, saying, reading and writing phonemes and our approach is to make the sessions lively and active; using a wide range of resources including ICT, playing practical games and puzzles. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme to teach sounds in a specific order. The teaching is supported by using the Jolly Phonics actions and rhymes.
How is Phonics taught?
All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/ tricky words, and application of new skills. It is an active, multi-sensory session and in the early phases Jolly Phonics actions are used to help children remember the sounds. It is essential that each phonics lesson includes the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing.
Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and apply these skills to their independent reading and writing. Some children will receive additional support in class, in addition to whole class phonic sessions.
All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/ tricky words, and application of new skills. It is an active, multi-sensory session and in the early phases Jolly Phonics actions are used to help children remember the sounds. It is essential that each phonics lesson includes the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing. Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and apply these skills to their independent reading and writing. Some children will receive additional support in class, in addition to whole class phonic sessions.
What is the Phonics Screening Check?
The phonics screening check introduced in 2012 is a statutory assessment for all children in year 1. The purpose of this test is to confirm whether children can decode, segment and blend words correctly.
The phonics test has a total of 40 words. Some are real words and some are pseudo words. This means (nonsense words or sometimes known to children as alien words).
Children will be asked to read these words one-on-one with a teacher. The words they see will be either real words that make sense or pseudo words that have an alien or monster picture beside them. This test will show if the children have learnt the spelling patterns and phonic skills taught in year 1.
How can you support your child at home?
Read new books with them as regularly as you can. This means your child will see and be introduced to new words to decode, segment and blend.
Here are some useful websites to try with your child.
All children are encouraged to read a book daily, both at home and at school. We want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books. We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class, core-text approach to teaching reading, and during their daily guided reading sessions. At Cardwell we use the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme.
Your child should be reading at home for 10 minutes or more each day. Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding. Even if your child is a confident and fluent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them, enjoy and discuss the books they are reading.
What questions can I use to develop my child’s reading?
- Where/when does the story take place?
- Who are the characters in the story?
- What happens in this part of the story?
- Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story?
- Can you retell the story using your own words?
- Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story? Why?
- What do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell?
- What do you think would have happened if…?
- What do you think is going to happen next?
- Which part of this book did you like best/least? Why?
- How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?
- Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?
- Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.
- Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.
- What do you think this story is trying to tell us?
- Has anything like this ever happened to you?
- Non Fiction Questions
- Tell me two things you found out that you didn’t know before.
- What does this part of the text tell us about ….?
- Which part of the text tells us about …?
- Why are some words in bold?
- How does this text/ layout help the reader?
- How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this page?
Look at this link below to learn more about the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme.