Phonics is one method of teaching children how to read and write. Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like ‘t’, and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck and ‘air’ in chair. Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters, and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling. Synthetic phonics refers to ‘synthesising’, or blending, the sounds to read words. It is based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.
At Springfield we use Letters & Sounds and Jolly Phonics resources to teach our children. EYFS, Y1 and Y2 children have phonics sessions daily.
Writing at Springfield is taught using a mixed media approach (text, image and writing) to inspire and motivate children to write. Grammar skills are taught explicitly and children are given opportunities to apply these in a range of narrative and non-fiction tasks.
In EYFS the writing focus is on pencil grip and letter formation. Children work in small groups with an adult to learn how to form letters and begin to use key grammar to write simple sentences. At Springfield, we teach cursive handwriting in which letters have lead in and lead out lines, this is taught from EYFS to encourage children to join their handwriting as they grow older.
In KS1 children begin to learn a wider range of grammar and punctuation and work on increasing their writing stamina to write longer pieces.
In KS2 children focus on developing their independent writing skills further and incorporating a wide range of punctuation and grammar. Children also begin to learn how to plan their writing and consider both the audience and purpose of their writing.
At Springfield, we use a number of different phonically based reading schemes to give the children depth and variety in their reading experiences. Books are graded into colour-coded book band levels, and within each level there is a carefully planned progression of books. This ensures that each child has a book at exactly the right level for them. This fine progression gives children plenty of opportunity to develop their reading skills and master each fine step while moving through the reading programme.
In Year 2 we begin to introduce key reading comprehension skills using Reciprocal Reading to prepare the children for a greater focus on comprehension skills in KS2.
In KS2 we teach whole class reading where the teacher will teach a particular reading skill in depth, develop the children’s vocabulary and hear the children read.
From September 2019 we shall be running the system of Accelerated Reader in KS2.