Phonics Lead: Amy Garroch
We use the Unlocking Letters and Sounds phonics programme which was validated by the Department for Education in December 2021.
At Old Sodbury, we begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of Term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘common exception’ words. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phases 2, 3 and 4.
In Year 1, through Phases 5a, 5b and 5c, children learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional common exception words. By the end of Year 1, they will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and to segment when spelling. In Year 1, all children are screened using the national phonics screening check.
In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age-related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.
To ensure that no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke one-to-one interventions, including GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions.
For further details, please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression:
At Old Sodbury, we promote a 'phonics-first' approach and in both our group reading sessions at school and in the books that children take home, texts are carefully matched to each child's current phonic knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading.
In these crucial early stages of reading, we use fully decodable books from Ransom Reading Stars to ensure complete fidelity to the phonic progression we follow. Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our staged reading scheme so that they can continue to develop their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills and become avid, expert readers.