Curriculum Design at St. Wilfrid’s Church of England Primary Academy
Curriculum Area: Phonics
Curriculum Leaders: Mrs. Kohler, Miss Beckwith and Mrs. Mullen
Curriculum Link Governor: Mrs. Ashton
Our Phonics curriculum aims to motivate and inspire children through a curriculum that engages and challenges all learners. Our curriculum is designed to deepen knowledge and develop skills, with literacy at the heart, ensuring effective progression to become confident, fluent readers with secure understanding and comprehension skills.
Our Christian Values and Distinctiveness, alongside our School Mission Statement of ‘Achieve, Believe and Care’, are at the heart of our curriculum and all that we do at St. Wilfrid’s.
In Phonics, we implement an inclusive curriculum that meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Phonics is taught daily from Nursery to Year 2, however it may continue to be taught across school to ensure that all children receive a good understanding of phonics to support their reading.
Children will learn different phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters), to enable them to segment and blend for reading. The understanding that the letter(s) on the page represent the sounds in spoken words should underpin pupils’ reading and spelling of all words. This includes common words containing unusual grapheme, phonemes correspondences (GPCs). The term ‘common exception words’ is used throughout the programmes of study for such words.
At St Wilfrid’s we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ teaching approach, which has six phases. During all these phases children will be introduced to some ‘tricky’ words and common exception words which must be learnt as sight vocabulary.
At St Wilfrid's we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' teaching approach, which has six phases.
Children start at Phase One as they enter into Nursery. Phase one falls largely within the Communication, Language and Literacy area of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It supports children in their ability to listen attentively, enlarge their vocabulary, speak confidently and discriminate phonemes. Phase One is arranged into seven aspects which focus on, general sound discrimination- environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending and segmenting.
Children start Phase Two as they enter Reception. The purpose of this phase is to teach 19 letters and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmentation with letters. By the end of this Phase children should be able to read some CVC words and to spell them using magnetic letters or by writing the letters they need to make words. During this phase children will be introduced to some “tricky” words which must be learned as sight vocabulary.
Children entering Phase Three will know around 19 letters and will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC words and segment CVC words to spell. The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising of two letters (e.g. oa), and some comprising of three letter (e.g. igh). The aim here is that children will be able to represent 42 phonemes (Sounds) by a grapheme (written letter/combination of letters). In this Phase children will learn letter names and will be introduced to more “tricky” words.
Children entering Phase Four will be able to represent each of the 42 phonemes by a grapheme, and will be able to blend and segment CVC words. The will know letter names and will be able to read and spell some tricky words. The purpose of this Phase is to consolidate children’s’ knowledge of language and word patterns.
Phase Five is taught throughout Year One. In this Phase children broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They also learn new graphemes and alternative pronunciations of these and some alternative pronunciations for graphemes they already know. Children will become quicker at recognising high frequency and “tricky” words and will read and spell these correctly.
Phase Six is taught throughout Year 2. By the beginning of Phase Six, children should know most of the grapheme/phoneme correspondences and should be able to read hundreds of words through three approaches.
- Reading words automatically
- Decoding them quickly and silently because their blending and segmenting routine is now well established
- Decoding them aloud.
Children’s spelling should be phonetically accurate although it may still be a little unconventional at times. During this phase children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
Each year, children in Year 1 will take a Phonic's Screening Test to assess their phonic knowledge. This takes place in school during the month of June. Children who do not achieve the required standard in the test may need to be assesed again during Year 2.
Teachers ensure that their teaching develops pupils’ oral vocabulary as well as their ability to understand and use a variety of grammatical structures, giving particular support to pupils whose oral language skills are insufficiently developed. Phonics is delivered through highly effective ‘quality first teaching’. Teachers continually assess learning in each lesson to ensure that children are progressing through the phases.
Our phonics curriculum enables children to become confident, fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.