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.
In EYFS and KS1 we use Bug Club, a finely-levelled reading scheme, which ensures that all children are reading books at exactly the right level for them. This phonically based reading scheme ensures our early readers are rehearsing and practising the sounds they have learned and at the same time giving the children depth and variety in their reading experiences. 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 to prepare the children for a greater focus on comprehension skills in KS2.
We teach whole class reading in Years 2-6, where the teacher will teach a particular reading skill in depth, develop the children’s vocabulary and hear the children read.
In September 2019 we began running the system of Accelerated Reader in KS2 which encompasses the three main reading components; decoding, fluency and comprehension. This contributes to our aim of ensuring our children become balanced readers who can access a wide range of text types and genres and develop a love of literature.