We have elected to follow the Letters and Sounds programme and the principles of this are applicable throughout the school. All children in Foundation and Key Stage One have daily phonics based on this programme. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games where the emphasis is
on children’s active participation. In Key Stage Two, Letters and Sounds continues until children are ready to move into a complementary program, Support for Spelling.
‘Letters and Sounds’ is divided into six phases.
Phase 1: Tuning into Sounds
Phase 2: Learning about the pure sounds of letters (phonemes) and the written forms (graphemes) that represent these sounds. Learning how to blend and segment these sounds orally.
Phase 3: The introduction of long vowel sounds (digraphs and trigraphs).
Phase 4: Securing and applying Phase 3 phonemes and consonant clusters.
Phase 5: Learning about alternative graphemes for previously learned phonemes plus alternative pronunciations for known graphemes.
Phase 6: Regular and irregular spelling patterns (suffixes and prefixes).
Some words in the English language cannot be broken down into separate phonemes. These words are known as tricky words and we teach the children to be able to read and instantly know the whole word, for example, ‘said’ or ‘what’.