Through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ structured programme of phonics teaching. In Nursery, we start teaching Phase 1 that focuses on developing children’s listening skills where they work on activities that help them to differentiate a range of sounds that will prepare them for the next stages of phonics learning.
Children are taught in 20-30 minute sessions each day, through interactive games, actions and use of flashcards and magnetic letters, to link letters and sounds, by learning how to say the sound (phoneme) for each letter (grapheme) and groups of letters like sh, ch, igh (digraphs and trigraphs). They learn to hear and say the sounds in words like c-a-t by pulling themapart (segmenting) and putting them back together (blending). In school, we use the vocabulary of robot-talk with robot-actions to help with segmenting. These vital skills help them to read words that are phonetically spelled but some words, which cannot be easily decoded, are learnt as ‘tricky words’ such as ‘come’ and ‘the’. These skills are then applied to learning to spell and to write sentences. Also, children are taught to recognise high/medium frequency words on-sight and are regularly asked to read and spell them in these sessions.
In Year 1 and 2, children are set in ability groups for phonics. This is to enable children to learn at their own pace and provide opportunities to challenge and support those in need.