Phonic sessions are taught at Eastling Primary School in a whole class, structured programme of daily lessons from the beginning of Foundation Stage to the end of Year 2. We follow the Supersonic Phonic Friends validated scheme, providing a systematic, synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. This programme is supported by children accessing consolidation provision throughout the school day and at home. Children who need additional phonic input have discreet programmes tailored to their phonic awareness and development throughout the week.
Phonics is taught in a variety of ways, including high quality modelling of sounding out, decoding, segmenting and blending strategies. Interactive resources and games are used and children are given the opportunity to rehearse sounds verbally and record them in written work.
Phonics sessions are structured to build on previous learning and introduce new phonics skills and subject knowledge. Sessions often follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model. Sessions are planned to include opportunities for development of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The school spelling programme complements the phonics learning from Reception through to the end of KS2.
The Supersonic Phonic Friends scheme is grouped into phases - pupils’ progress from Firm Foundations, through the Basics 2, 3, and 4, onto the Higher Levels 5 Choose to Use and Switch it Spell it programmes before the children move into the National Curriculum spelling rules. These phases ensure that children advance from talking about and exploring sounds, through to understanding what graphemes and phonemes are. Pupils learn about GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences), consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and tri-graphs. Children develop knowledge of how to blend and segment the phonemes within words, including those with adjacent consonants.
Children in Reception begin with Firm Foundations, which gives children playful daily repeated experience, exposure and enjoyment of general sound discrimination (environmental sounds, instrumental sounds and body percussion) and phonological awareness (rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting). Although children move onto the Basics next, this Firm Foundation phase does not end as phonological awareness continues from the Basics to the Higher Levels of phonics and into spelling rules and patterns.
Children are introduced to the Basics 2, which marks the start of systematic phonic work. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is introduced. The process of segmenting whole words and selecting letters to represent those phonemes is taught. Children learn at least one spelling for 18 of the 44 sounds of the English language and make phonetically plausible attempts in their emerging stages of spelling in their writing journey. Children will be able to read decodable books containing the Basics 2 graphemes.
The Basics 3 completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to cover sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 44 phonemes. At this stage just one grapheme (spelling) is given for each phoneme. Children will make phonetically plausible attempts in their early stages of spelling in their writing journey. Children will be able to read decodable books containing the Basics 2 and 3 graphemes.
When children become secure, they continue into the Basics 4 where they start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants and four to six sounds. They will be able to read, spell and write CVC, CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC words (C = consonant, V = vowel), read decodable texts containing the Basics 2 and 3 graphemes with adjacent consonants and make phonetically plausible attempts in their evolving stages of spelling in their writing journey.
Within the Higher Levels 5 Choose to Use and Switch it Spell it, pupils progress to learning that there are more than one spelling for a sound they can hear in a word. Children learn about split digraphs, alternative pronunciations of the same grapheme, and alternative representations of the same phoneme. They will be able to read, spell and write the 44 sounds in the English language, switch spellings and sounds for alternative pronunciations, read decodable texts containing the Basics to Higher Levels spellings including adjacent consonants and make more accurate attempts in their further stages stages of spelling in their writing journey.
Once children have mastered the above, the curriculum concentrates on developing a variety of spelling strategies including homophones (word specific spellings) eg see/ sea, spelling of words with prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters where necessary. Also the accurate spelling of words containing unusual grapheme-phoneme correspondences eg. laughs, two. The reading and spelling of high frequency words are taught throughout the academic year, as part of phonic development, along with how to spell tricky words, which may not fit conventional spelling rules.
Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which the children will be required to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words that they have not seen before. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in year, enter again in Year 2 after having additional support. As children enter KS2, provision is made for any children who may still require daily phonics