At Staunton and Corse Primary Academy we use Unlocking Letters and Sounds, a synthetic phonic scheme fully validated by the DfE in December 2021. We use the systematic, synthetic phonics programme to teach with rigour and fidelity. We teach our phonics, so that is accessible to all, by planning for 100% engagement from each child. Synthetic systematic phonics is a key skill that supports the development of early reading. By using this scheme throughout the school, the structure and methodology of our lessons is consistent in Reception and Year 1 and even into Year 2. Children are initially taught letter sounds and are then introduced to letter names and taught to blend sounds in order to read whole words.
We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.
How can I learn more about phonics so that I can help at home?
Please watch and listen to the embedded video. This video helps identify the pure sounds we need to make in phonics.
Resources to help at home
In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. Every Year 1 child across the country has to take a phonics screening test with their teacher.
In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.
For further details please see the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression document:
To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact.
How do we provide for all learners?
At Staunton and Corse we strive to meet the needs of all our children, including those with SEND. Teachers aim to make phonics accessible for pupils of all abilities, pupils are encouraged to work as independently as possible but reasonable adjustments are made for those children with SEND. Planning is modified, additional scaffolding is provided and we complement whole class teaching with small group interventions and individual support where necessary.