Phonics at Liberty
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully.
They are taught how to:
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; letter/sound recognition
- identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘or ‘
- Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.
In the English language there are 44 sounds, which are put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, such as ‘p’ (phoneme). Some are represented by two letters (digraph) as in ‘sh’ in rush and some are represented by three or four letters (trigraph), as in ‘igh’ in night.
At Liberty we cover the objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum, using the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. In Early Years Foundation Stage, phonics teaching of initial sounds is supported by the Jolly Phonics scheme alongside Letters and Sounds.
Children are encouraged to segment (break up) the individual sounds in a word, then blend them back together to read the word. This skill will enable children to sound out unknown words and become fluent, confident readers.
Phonics sessions are taught daily to all children in Early Years and Year 1. The children are streamed into ability groups and each session is tailored to the groups’ phonic knowledge. Phonics sessions are fun and interactive; children play games and learn new sounds and have the opportunity to practise and apply these skills by reading decodable books within class. They also learn how to tackle unfamiliar words and nonsense words (pseudo words).
At the end of Year 1 all children are required to take a Phonics Screening Check to assess individual understanding of the phonics they have been taught throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. This check is created and distributed nationally and has an ‘expected’ threshold. Children who do not reach the ‘expected’ threshold in Year 1 will receive extra support in Year 2 and will resit the screening check at the end of Year 2.