The Teaching of Phonics at Smawthorne
At Smawthorne Henry Moore Primary School, phonics is an important daily lesson in each class from the Nursery through to Year 2. The school follows the government ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme which develops the children’s ability to hear, discriminate, recognise and write the sounds. The New Curriculum also supports children’s phonic development and we are working in line with the curriculum content provided. Below you will find a guide to the different letters and sounds children learn from Phase 1 to Phase 6. There is also a glossary of the terminology we use in our daily Phonics sessions.
Phonic work is combined with the school’s structured reading scheme to develop reading skills. The children start on the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ and then progress to other reading schemes, including Project X. This means that they have completed the structured schemes and read from a selection of colour-coded fiction and non-fiction books from the school and class libraries. The majority of children leave Smawthorne as confident, competent readers with a love of reading. The reading schemes across school have been developed this year and as a result children in Upper Key Stage 2 are being challenged through some very demanding texts, including the reading of Shakespeare.
Every year in June, the Year One pupils take the National Phonic Screening check. The check consists of 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words that a pupil reads aloud to the teacher. Psuedo words or 'alien-words' are words that that are phonically decodable but are not actual words with an associated meaning e.g. brip, snorb. Pseudo words are included in the check specifically to assess whether your child can decode a word using phonics skills and not their memory. Although the check is not treated as a formal test, the children are expected to reach a benchmark level. Parents are provided with a preparation pack to support their children in readiness for this assessment and are also invited to attend a meeting to discuss the Phonics screening test. Here, parents are told what to expect from the screening and given lots of activities and resources to help prepare their children. One of our Year 1 teachers will also model a Phonics lesson. This allows parents to see the basic structure of a Phonics lesson and also the teaching methods we use in our daily sessions.
Below you will find further information on the Phonics screening test, as well as some websites with games and videos to further support your child's Phonics progress at home. There are also some examples of psuedo-words to practice with to prepare for the screening test. If you feel that your child would benefit from some extra Phonics activities to prepare for the screening please speak to your child's class teacher.
Our parents are excellent at supporting the school phonics and reading homework. The children take reading books home daily to practice, improve and enjoy and we appreciate this support enormously.
Please find below the presentation delivered at the Parents; Phonics Meeting.