We use Unlocking Letters and Sounds which was validated by the DfE in December 2021.
We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.
In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national Phonics Screening Check.
In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.
For further details please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression:
To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have impact.
At Paulton Infant School we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our reading sessions at school and in the books children take home, texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading.
As each child's phonics knowledge progresses, they begin to read de-codable reading books pitched to match their current reading level. They bring home a book in their book bag. We encourage children to read each book at least 3 times. The first for decoding; next to build fluency and finally with prosody (expression). The reading schemes we primarily use for our physical books include:
Collins Big Cat for Letters and Sounds Letters and Sounds Book Collections from TTS
We have an online subscription to the 'ebook Library for Letters and Sounds' https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ . All children are given their own log in. Here you can access 100 decodable e-books. These include books from the following schemes:
Hero Academy Alien Adventures Word Sparks
We supplement our reading books with other schemes where they match our phonics progression based on Letters and Sounds. These include: Dandelion Readers and Rocket Phonics.
Once children progress beyond de-codable texts, they move onto choosing their own books so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.
An Introduction to reading at Paulton Infant School
A presentation for EYFS parents filmed in September 2021. Powerpoint.
Useful websites to help with Phonics
A clear explanation of what phonics is and how it enables children to learn to read.
Phonics Pronunciation Video
This video clip demonstrates how to pronounce pure sounds.
A demonstration of how we can 'blend' sounds that we have learnt together in order to read new words.
On-line phonic games - phonics play
On this website you will find some of phonic games to practice sound recognition, blending to read and tricky words.
This excellent game is available to play for free on a computer or you can purchase as an app.
An example of the phonics check paper that takes place at the end of Year 1. We use these past papers to conduct in-house mock phonics checks in preparation for the real thing at the end of Year 1.
An explanation of the terms we use when teaching phonics. This language is used with children.