The teaching of phonics at St Bartholomew’s
Phonics is taught at St Bartholomew’s using the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ scheme as its basis in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. However, staff adapt this scheme to meet the needs of the children. Children need to be able to read from ‘real’ books, as well as ones that are devised to teach and rehearse phonics in a structured way. They also need to be able to make sense of what they are reading, demonstrating good comprehension. In the Foundation Stage, children are initially taught to recognise all the individual ‘pure’ letter sounds of the alphabet and blend them together to be able to read and write simple words using this knowledge (c-a-t to say cat). When children are able to do this, they will progress onto learning phonemes (groups of letters that make a particular sound e.g. ‘oo’, ‘ee’ etc. and ‘split diagraphs’). Children are also taught to recognise and read key irregular words.
As children progress into Year 1, they learn a range of phonemes and how to blend them to make ‘real’ words (e.g. king) and ‘alien’ words (e.g. ‘koing’). This enables them to be able to blend sounds in words they do not recognise when they are reading. Children are expected to use this phonic knowledge to make ‘phonetically plausible’ attempts in their writing (graphemes).
The teaching of phonics continues into Year 2 and Year 3 (and for some children who need extra intervention, all the way through key stage 2, if needed). Phonics is the basis of reading and spelling. As children progress and develop, they are taught spelling rules and are expected to become more competent at remembering the complex rules of spelling in the English language. With practice at home and at school, they are expected to become less reliant on phonically sounding out words and quickly recognise a wide range of words. The use of phonics is only expected to be used to read unfamiliar words. As children progress into key stage 2, they are taught about roots of words and are expected to use this knowledge in their reading and spelling.
Parental resources can be accessed below: