What is phonics?

Phonics is a teaching strategy used to help children begin to read words by breaking each word up into its individual sounds before blending those sounds back together to make the word.  Children learn to ‘decode’ words by breaking it down into sounds rather than having to memorise 1,000’s of words individually. Children will then use the same strategy to read whole sentences and blend them together again.

Some words cannot be sounded out. These are named ‘tricky words’ and will be learned to be read by sight.

What programme of teaching do we use at Garfield?

At Garfield, we use a programme to teach phonics called ‘Scholfield and Sims -My new letters and sounds’.

The scheme is based on the ‘simple view of reading’ approach which states a child becomes a successful reader when they have good word recognition and good language comprehension.

This is a multi-sensory and structured programme that teaches the children 43+ phonemes during Reception and Year 1, leading onto more complex spelling strategies in Year 2.

Learning is divided into Phases, starting with Phase 1 in Nursery, Phase 2/3 in Reception, Phase 4/5 in Year 1 and Phase 6 in Year 2.  Phonics may continue being taught in Year 3 depending on the need. All phases are revised and revisited when needed.

In Key Stage 2, whole class phonics is taught based on the needs of individual classes. Pupils in KS2 who require additional phonics support take part in intervention groups. The pupils are assessed and a programme is created based on their needs. 

In Reception and Year 1, cued articulation resources are used to teach phonics. 

Here is a video which shows you how to say some of the sounds we work on with the children.

What is cued articulation?

Cued Articulation supports the teaching of speech sounds visually, using hand signs which match the way the mouth moves when sounding out. Children relate the sound to the action and are able to learn it through the memory of the physical action.

Phonics screening check

Towards the end of Year 1, pupils take part in a phonics screening check. The phonics screening check has been introduced by the Department of Education to check the phonics knowledge of children across the country.

Please visit the government website for more information:

Phonics Resources 

We use a range of resources to teach phonics:

Sound flash cards- which help children to revise their sounds daily.

Tricky word flashcards– which help children to revise their words daily.

Pupil workbooks- which we send home so that children can build on their knowledge.

Reading scheme books– these books are sent home depending on the child’s ability and will be changed weekly. There will be sounds and words for children to practise before reading and children should be able to decode these books and blend words together to read.

Here are some suggested websites to support the learning of phonics:  – ‘Deep Sea Phonics’ game with choice of difficulty (some HFWs, some vowel blends, very varied)

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