Please see the slides delivered recently by Lucy Humphrys and Emma Barley from the recent Parent Phonic workshop – Phonics Workshop March 2023
At Evendons Primary School we believe every child should be given the tools to develop into an enthusiastic, confident reader as learning to read and reading for pleasure transforms children’s lives. The teaching of phonics, for younger children in particular, is invaluable in providing children with the skills which enable them to access reading and writing and to tackle unfamiliar words. We strive for our children to become fluent readers as they will consequently be able to comprehend what is read and acquire further vocabulary.
Evendons pupils will learn to confidently use phonics skills to decode unfamiliar words and to recognise tricky words in their reading and to use these same skills to write words and sentences. They will learn about the building blocks of the English language and how to use these in their reading and writing. They will keep practising these skills until they are fluent readers and writers, but will know they can always use what they have learned when they encounter new words.
We teach Phonics daily in EYFS to Year 2 and beyond if needed. Through high-quality teaching of our systematic synthetic phonics program (Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds) beginning in the first weeks of Reception, children learn the phonemes, graphemes and skills necessary to decode words which are increasingly complex. They learn how to blend sounds together to hear a word and how to segment the sounds in a word to spell it. Alongside this the children learn a wide range of tricky or common exception words which they recognise and spell with increasing fluency. A phonics session is about 20 minutes per day, fast-paced and active. The children are taught in a mixture of both whole class and small group sessions. We ensure each phonics lesson has the same structure, enabling the children to focus on the content. They have many opportunities to practise skills and to build on prior learning within each lesson and as part of our wider curriculum, in order to apply and embed their phonics skills. We teach the children to use their courage and resilience when learning to read unfamiliar words, always having a go at using their skills and the resources around them to help them work the word out.
The children practise their phonic skills when reading closely-linked reading books, which they both read in school and then take home. They apply what they have learned through their writing activities for a range of different purposes. The children’s increasing fluency in phonics lessons gives them the confidence to use their reading and writing skills in a wide variety of tasks, including reading for enjoyment.
Children needing extra support are quickly identified through regular assessment and targeted support enabling them to learn at the same pace as their peers.
By the end of EYFS, children are using their phonics skills to independently read simple books in the book corner and at home. They write notes and messages during independent learning. They can write simple sentences , for example about the ducklings hatching.
A Year 1 pupil said “I like it because I learn a lot of sounds.”
Another Year 1 pupil said Phonics was “good because you get to learn new sounds every day.” He was then contradicted by his friend who said “You don’t only learn new sounds, you practise them.”
A Reception child said “I liked learning digraphs and tricky words and the blue sounds [digraphs].”
Parents have the option to attend a phonics and early reading workshop to enable them to understand how their child is learning at school and how they can best support them at home.
By Lucy Humphreys Phonics Lead