Phonic Programme

Learning to read is essential to a good education and we aim to ensure that all children at West Jesmond leave our school as able readers. Alongside teaching the tools for reading through robust and rapid phonics understanding, reading for pleasure and immersion in stories is encouraged throughout the school.
Phonics teaching takes place every day from Reception to Year 2. The scheme we follow is Letters and Sounds, with Jolly Phonics’ actions and pictures to support this. Letters and Sounds identifies six distinct phases of progression (these are outlined in the document below). Children are assessed continuously during their daily phonics lessons, and the groups in which they are taught change regularly according to their needs, using additional adults to differentiate the provision more widely.
In Reception, our phonic skills begin with speaking and listening. We practise listening for sounds at the beginning, in the middle, and at the ends of words. We also practise blending sounds together verbally to make words. In the Autumn term, we begin teaching children single letter sounds through Jolly Phonics. Children learn the sound, the action and the formation of each letter. As the children become more confident, we teach them how to put these single sounds together to read and write words. Throughout the year, we constantly reinforce the importance of correct formation of these letters, practising in different ways, such as using glitter, sand and playdough. We also focus on non-phonetic High Frequency words, such as home, we, look, I, where the children learn these by sight.

In Key Stage 1 the children continue to follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme but we enhance and support this with a wide range of resources such as whiteboard writing activities, card games, flash cards, interactive on-line and published games, as well as the many interactive activities suggested in the scheme itself. We have found that following the structure and guidance of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme ensures a full coverage of phonic sounds and skills and that the enhancement activities allow the children to apply and consolidate their knowledge in a variety of contexts. This then allows them to link phonic rules and strategies to their writing and reading tasks more effectively.