English: Phonics and Early Reading
At Heybrook, phonics and early reading is the cornerstone of our entire curriculum. We know that reading is a fundamental life skill and that early reading in particular is essential for our children's future success. Put simply, phonics/word recognition is the bedrock on which all reading development is built.
Initially, we want our children to use their phonics knowledge to segment and blend phonetically decodable words whilst reading non-decodable words on sight (tricky words). However, the ultimate goal is for our children to read with increasing fluency and automaticity. Children should be able to read age and ability appropriate texts with increasing understanding. Children then use their phonics knowledge to write clearly, accurately and coherently. As with the rest of our curriculum, vocabulary plays a prominent role in our vision for early reading, with children being immersed in meaningful vocabulary to aid understanding and language comprehension. Our vision is for all Heybrook pupils to leave KS1 fluently applying their phonetic knowledge, empowering them to enjoy a wide range of texts that will allow them to unlock a wealth of information and inspire a life-long love of learning.
Using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, we ensure that:
- Direct, focused phonics is taught every day in EYFS and Key Stage 1
- Phonics is taught with consistency and fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme of work
- Children read from books with the sounds they know (matched decodable books) and take these home to build confidence and fluency
- Staff provide extra practice throughout the day for the children who make the slowest progress
- Vocabulary is an fundamental component in the teaching of early reading
- Building fluency and automaticity is integral to the teaching of early reading
- All children in Year 3 and above can confidently apply their phonetic knowledge (and where this is not the case, a comprehensive programme of support is in place)
- Teachers instil a love of reading and of literature
Our curriculum map
Our curriculum map for phonics and early reading clearly sets out the sequence of learning in this subject:
Little Wandle Curriculum Map 2023-24
See below for example videos of how to pronounce the phonemes (sounds) for each phase:
Blending is a difficult (but very important) skill that the children need to master as soon as possible:
What our children say
We learnt lots of new sounds and it was fun. Toys in Space is my favourite book!
Phonics helped me to learn and read. Phase 5 sounds were my favourite.
I like it when we do the tricky words.
I like to learn new sounds because it helps me to learn new things. I enjoyed reading 'At the Market' with my mum at home.
We use our fingers when we are segmenting and blending.