Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?
At EVA, we know that phonics is the prime approach to teaching decoding skills. It is essential that our approach to teaching phonics and reading is accessible to all learners, our aim is to teach all children to read regardless of their background.
Our phonics lessons are fast paced and engaging, but not distracting. Children are aware of the consistent routines which we call our ‘phonics rituals’ and children know what to expect at each point in the lesson, regardless of which member of staff is teaching them. Staff have regular coaching and CPD to ensure that all phonics teaching is of the highest quality.
With our rigorous planning, robust assessment processes and quick identification for interventions, we ensure that all children make good progress in learning to read. Opportunities to apply phonics skills taught in lessons happens during the weekly guided reading sessions, ensuring we support children to become fluent readers with an appreciation of books and a love of reading.
What do we teach? What does this look like?
At EVA, we follow the Little Wandle phonics scheme from F1-Y1, children in Y2 & LKS2 continue to access the scheme where appropriate. Children access the main programme, catch up/rapid intervention programme or the SEND programme. We teach phonics for 30-40 minutes a day.
In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
Children are placed in groups for phonics and reading according to their most recent assessment. These groups are fluid and children can move in or out of groups depending on the teacher's formative assessment within a lesson.
We start teaching phonics in Nursery with the ‘Foundations of Phonics’ and children make a strong start to more formal teaching in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term. This ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
We teach with fidelity to the Little Wandle scheme, however, we also recognise when this may need adapting for individual or groups of children to ensure the maximum progress can be made.
Typically, children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
In Year one, children start the year with a review of the phase 3 GPCs, before then moving on to phase 4 and phase 5. Children are also encouraged to learn to read ‘alien words’ in preparation for the phonics screening test in the summer term.
Links to support parents/carers:
Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 1 (youtube.com)
Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 2 (youtube.com)
Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception Spring 1 (youtube.com)
Quick guide to Alien words (youtube.com)
How we teach tricky words (youtube.com)
How we teach blending (youtube.com)