At Barlow C of E Primary School, we deliver a high quality phonics programme from the Reception year through to Key Stage One, following the government-approved Letters and Sounds programme (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds). Phonics is taught in discrete daily sessions in order to ensure that the children acquire secure word recognition skills and become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.
We follow the Letters and Sounds scheme, Phases 1-6, which ensures that each child makes the necessary progress in their reading and writing before Key Stage 2. The children learn to hear, read and write the sounds each day in class and then progress to read by blending sounds to create words, leading to writing words by segmenting and saying the sounds. To support this further, the school offers adult workshops each year to support parents to embed their child’s phonics knowledge further at home.
Once the children can read and blend all Phase 2,3,4 and 5 sounds into words, they then apply their phonic knowledge to read ditties, questions, sentences, story books and a range of other texts. The children also apply their phonic knowledge to write simple sentences containing words with new and already learnt sounds on whiteboards within Phonics sessions and in their writing books during English lessons.
We combine discrete teaching of phonics with guided reading (small groups), shared reading (whole class) and class story time. Teachers regularly read to the children too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. We have a team of willing parent and grandparent volunteers who visit our school weekly and listen to our children read. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.