At All Saints CE Academy (Early Years, KS1 and KS2), phonic and reading skills are reinforced in all lessons where appropriate, and pupils are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge in all areas of the curriculum and in their independent work. Explicitly, within The Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1, high-quality systematic, synthetic phonic work makes sure that pupils learn:
- grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondences (the alphabetic principle) in a clearly defined, incremental sequence;
- to apply the highly important skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes, in order, all through a word to read it;
- to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell;
- that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.
Through daily systematic and synthetic teaching of phonics we revisit, teach, practise and review a variety of ability-related phonemes and their grapheme/phoneme correspondents, spelling rules and common exception words (for both reading and spelling). Incremental progression in phonic knowledge and skills is regularly assessed by staff to track children’s progress, assess for further learning and ensure that accurate intervention is implemented wherever necessary.
Our children take home picture books to encourage them to be able to tell a story using appropriate language, developing a growing bank of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary. When the children are ready to progress, they will take home books that contain decodable words for them to practise their learning from class sessions. In Reception, Year 1 and beyond (if required), children take home reading books appropriate to their level of phonic and reading ability, containing decodable words that they can segment the sounds and blend them together independently. These books perfectly match the level of phonics being taught in their sessions (through our ‘Fully Decodable’ and ‘Share with Scheme’), so they are not accessing books which they cannot read.
As children progress through the reading scheme throughout their time at school, more high-frequency and tricky words, different genres and levels of difficulty are introduced.
During Year 2, children who have passed the phonic screening check progress onto recapping Phase 5 as required and then move onto spelling rules. This is further developed and consolidated as the children move through Years 3 and 4 (where we follow the National Curriculum expectations for spelling, punctuation and grammar SPaG). All of our children have the opportunity to learn spelling strategies that are highlighted and put into context during their reading. If there is a particular spelling rule the class are developing, seeing it in action in a text (through whole class guided reading or individual reading) further reiterates and encourages the children to apply that particular rule in their writing and when they are thinking like a writer for the reader.
Year Two spelling – creating our own mnemonics to us help spell tricky words
Spelling in Key Stage Two
We build upon the spelling rules learned in the phonic phases 1-6 and look at alternative ways of spelling, prefixes, suffixes and the statutory words for children in Years 3 and 4.
Practicing spellings with a prefix Finding the definition for a spelling word
Playing Battleships – A.K.A spelling practice
As with all of our teaching and learning at All Saints CE Academy, if children fall behind in their phonics and spelling development, this is recognised by the staff and through regular, planned intervention strategies and support from home, systems are put in place to allow each child the opportunity to catch up with their peers. To enhance the expertise of the teaching staff, we use an analysis tool called Lexplore Analytics. Using the latest Artificial Intelligence and eye tracking technology, children in Years One to Four, carry out a simple reading assessment. This helps the teachers to identify children’s skills across a range of reading components. From this analysis, an individual programme of rapid support that can be put into place to enable the children to be working alongside their peers in a matter of weeks.