Phonics in School

Phonics in School

At Kirton Lindsey Primary School, when children enter the Early Years Foundation Stage class and all the way through Key Stage 1 they take part in daily high-quality phonics sessions. In the Early Years these are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games, where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. As the children progress they develop an understanding that spoken words are made up of different sounds (phonemes) and they learn to match these phonemes to letters (graphemes). 

Phonics is about children knowing how letters link to sounds (graphemes to phonemes), for example, c as in ‘cat’, ll as in ‘fell’, ee as in ‘sheep’. Children use this phonic knowledge when they are reading and writing. This approach has been shown to provide a quick and efficient way for most young children to learn to read words on the page, fluently and accurately. We want children to develop this skill so that it becomes automatic. This also greatly helps them with their spelling.

Teaching Phonics

Our phonics teaching is structured and fast paced and requires active participation by the children. At Kirton Lindsey Primary School we use a systematic phonics programme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds. Little Wandle is divided into phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. Phonics sessions occur daily in Early Years and Key Stage 1. The use of phonics is reinforced throughout the curriculum to enable children to apply their developing skills. Children are ability grouped to ensure that learning is differentiated to meet their needs. 

Sessions are delivered by teaching and support staff to ensure that group numbers are as small as possible and to maximise personalised learning. Children are expected to have achieved national expectation in phonics by the end of Year 1 and will be tested in the summer term to check their progress. If they do not reach the required standard they are retested at the end of Year 2. Phonics teaching continues for all children whether they meet the standard or not – however focus moves from reading to spelling at higher levels, all the way to the end of Year 2. Children not achieving national expectations by the end of Year 2, usually children with additional learning needs, will be supported with further phonics teaching in Key Stage 2 and their progress is monitored to ensure they are acquiring the required skills.

To find resources to help support phonics in school, please click on the documents below.