Why Phonics matters:
At St. John’s, we believe that the teaching and learning of phonics is crucial to enable children to read and spell. Phonics are the foundations to reading. Having a strong knowledge of phonemes and correlating graphemes provides children with a core foundation upon which they can develop their skills in reading and spelling as they move up through the school.
We want the teaching of phonics to be engaging for children at St. John’s to enable children to be fluent readers rapidly. As stated in the National Curriculum 2014, we believe that, “Reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens a treasure house of wonder and joyful curious young minds.”
Phonics lessons at St. John’s follow the Phonics Bug scheme whereby lessons are structured in a Review, Teach, Practise and Apply format.
In order to engage children and help them to retain and apply their learning, we incorporate songs, rhymes and actions to embed learning.
Phonics is taught daily at St. John’s.
Phonics in EYFS and Year 1
In EYFS and Year 1, emphasis is placed upon children applying their phonic knowledge when reading; facilitating them with skills to segment and blend unfamiliar words in texts. Sound buttons and Sound lines are used as a visual aid to help children identify each sound in the unfamiliar word. Songs and actions are used to engage children and to help them retain knowledge of phonemes and correlating graphemes.
Writing and Spelling:
In EYFS and Year 1, children are taught to apply their phonic knowledge when writing unfamiliar words. As with reading, the children are encouraged to segment the word to help them write the correct graphemes. This also applies in Year 1 where children are taught to spell with suffixes and prefixes as the root word is likely to be phonically regular.
Phonics in Years 2-6
From Year 2 upwards, emphasis is placed on using phonics to spell and teach spelling rules, enabling children to retain and apply these spelling rules.