English teaching and learning at Leadenham CE Primary School seeks to ignite a passion for the written and spoken language in all children. We believe that our children should read and write creatively, studying and using the individual word, the phrase, the sentence, the paragraph and the chapter.
We believe that pupil’s text development is enhanced through an active, direct and challenging approach to texts of all kinds. This involves texts from a range of authors. All books, texts and extracts are read by staff to ensure that they are appropriate for the year group. Many writing journeys may also follow the children’s own interests if they are particularly excited by a film, book or clip that they have seen recently.
Our learning structure seeks to combine a variety of creative, stimulating opportunities with access to visual tools and various different stimuli which seek to engage and enthral pupils to become inspired writers. This may include images, music, stimulus clips and creative tasks.
What is phonics?
Phonics is the correspondence between spoken sound (phoneme) and the written letter (grapheme). It is a way of teaching children to read by breaking up words into small chunks of sound. For example we can break a simple word like ‘cat’ into the three sounds c-a-t.
To become successful readers children will learn the individual sounds for each letter or group of letters. Some sounds in English are made up of more than one letter like the sound ‘ea’ in tea or team. Once children know the sounds they will be able to ‘decode’ unfamiliar words by breaking the word into sounds then read the word by blending back together. For example: sh — o — p = shop
For an audio guide on how to pronounce the sounds click on the link below:
Why do we teach phonics?
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way - starting with the easiest sounds, progressing through to the most complex - it’s the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It’s particularly helpful for children aged 4–7.
Almost all children who have good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
How do we teach phonics?
At Leadenham CE Primary we use the government’s Letters and Sounds document primarily and use resources from Phonics Play, Jolly Phonics letter sound actions, Dandelion Launchers books and Oxford Reading Tree stories to support children learning their phonics. We use a range of teaching and learning experiences when teaching phonics to ensure a multi-sensory approach. Phonics is taught daily in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, starting in the autumn term.
Further information about 'Letters and Sounds'
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers. For more detailed information, visit the Letters and Sounds website.
Phase One (Nursery/Reception)
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two Reception) up to 6 weeks
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, the representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)
Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.
Unsure what a particular Grammar term means? Click on the link:
Helpful child friendly glossary with examples