At Hobbayne Primary School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.
We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. Children make a strong start in Reception; teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term (please click here for the progression). As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Hobbayne we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
How we teach phonics
- In the nursery, the focus is on daily oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
- In reception and Y1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session on a Friday.
- Phonics starts in reception in week 2 to ensure the children make a strong start.
- By the end of reception, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 4.
- By the end of year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of phase 5.
- Reception lessons start at 10 minutes, with daily additional oral blending – increasing to 30 minutes as soon as possible.
- Y1 lessons are 30 minutes long.
- In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
- In Y2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps. These are short, sharp sessions lasting 10 minutes in length and taking place at least three times a week.
Reading practice sessions
- Children across reception, year 1, year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a full matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session.
- These sessions are 20-25 minutes long and happen three times a week. There are approximately 6 children in a group.
- The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. The three reading sessions compromise of decoding, prosody and comprehension.
- The children then take the same book home the following week to ensure success is shared with the family.
- In reception these sessions start in week 4. Children who are not decoding, do a little blending lesson, following the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sound Revised.
Half termly assessments take place through Reception, Year 1 and year 2 where appropriate to help inform future teaching and help identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and need additional practice. Daily assessment of learning also takes place within the classroom so staff can quickly identify any children who are in danger of falling behind and provide the appropriate daily ‘Keep Up’ interventions.
Supporting your child's reading
Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. There are TWO types of books your children may bring home.
READING PRACTICE BOOK: this has been carefully matched to your child's current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please do not worry that it's too easy - your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise - celebrate their success! If they can't read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.
READING FOR PLEASURE BOOK: In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong learner, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn't expect them to read this on their own. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for characters, explore the facts in the non-fiction books. The main thing is you have fun together!
If you are a parent/carer and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.
These four videos show you how to pronounce the sounds. Notice how the children don’t add an ‘uh’ sound at the end, so they say: ‘t’ not ‘tuh’. Use the downloadable information to help your child remember how to write their letters and say their sounds.