At Thundersley Primary School, the teaching of phonics begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We have developed our own scheme inspired by ‘Letters and Sounds’. Phonics is taught daily to enable our pupils to become fluent and confident readers with a strong phonological awareness. A variety of approaches and resources are used in the teaching of phonics to ensure that lessons are accessible to all learners. We aim to make the teaching of phonics as enjoyable as possible so that we can begin to develop the children’s love of reading, which is evident throughout the school. Children in EYFS and KS1 progress through our scheme at an appropriate pace with plenty of opportunities for repetition and consolidation so that reading, and spelling become automatic. Children’s progress is checked regularly so that they can receive extra support or challenge where appropriate.
Children are given a phonetically decodable book to read both at home and in school which is linked to the phonic lessons that have been taught. Children also take home additional books to share with their families to encourage the enjoyment of a range of different types of books, and the development of their vocabularies. At the end of Year One each child’s phonic knowledge is tested in a statutory phonics screening test. This is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify the children who may need extra support in future years so they can improve their reading skills. Some children may continue to receive phonics teaching beyond KS1 if appropriate.
We are very proud of the reading culture at our school and children have access to a wide variety of books, both in the classroom and in our wonderful library.