Phonics is a key focus at Swaffham Prior for our early readers and writers. Ultimately, the aim is for children to be able to read and write effortlessly by recognising grapheme-phoneme correspondences so that they are able to decode when reading and apply their understanding of phonics and spelling rules to their writing.
Teaching Phonics At Swaffham Prior
At Swaffham Prior, all children in our Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 classes are taught phonic skills for reading and writing through a daily 20 minute discrete phonics lesson.
We plan and delliver our phonics sessions using StoryTime Phonics, which is an inspiring programme that teaches phonics in a lively, engaging, multi-sensory way, through real story books. The learning is systematic, building up skills progressively, and phonics lessons are taught whole-class, raising expectations for all children, in line with our Mastery approach to learning.
Lessons are structured to ensure that children are first able to identify letters and to say the sound those letters make. Once children are confident with saying the single letter sounds and blending them to create words, they then start to learn the common digraphs (where two letters go together to create one phoneme such as sh), trigraphs (where three letters create a new phoneme such as igh) and alternative ways of spelling phonemes or pronouncing graphemes.
Children develop the ability to:
• sound out phonemes when reading new words
• blend the phonemes in new words to read them
• segment spoken words into phonemes
• write the corresponding graphemes to spell words
Alongside this, children will also be taught to read and write common exception words and high frequency words.
For our early readers, we provide phonically decodable reading books that are matched to their phonics learning for children to take home and read.