At Edgar Sewter we follow Twinkl Phonics for the teaching of Phonics and early reading. Twinkl Phonics has been approved by the Department for Education. Phonics lessons are fast paced and the five part pattern of revisit and review, teach, practice, apply and assess to ensure the four cornerstones of Phonics are covered.
Children begin their Phonics journey in Nursery when they will begin at Level 1 where they will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to use and discriminate between auditory, environmental and instrumental sounds. Level 1 has a big emphasis on speaking and listening skills which lays the foundation for all Phonics learning and is broken down into seven aspects, the final aspect focussing on oral segmenting and blending.
Children then proceed to Level 2 where the first 19 most commonly used letters and sounds are taught, children move on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters and some tricky words are introduced for reading. Level 2 is taught in Reception through whole class teaching. Children that are then ready, carry on to Level 3 where another 25 graphemes are taught and children read/spell simple two syllable words and captions. Level 4 is also taught in Reception and consolidates children’s knowledge of graphemes whilst introducing words with adjacent consonants.
Children are regularly assessed either every half term or at the end of the level they have been taught. Following this assessment children are then placed into Phonics groups suited to their developmental stage. Children are carefully tracked and any children who perhaps are not on track are identified and will begin intervention to teach the gaps in their Phonics knowledge.
Once children reach KS1 they are assessed again to be placed into a group appropriate for them. The same process of assessing each half term, and formally assessing using the Phonics Screening Check at regular points throughout the year, enables us to carefully track the children. Interventions are tailored to the children’s needs to plug any gaps in the child’s Phonics knowledge. Levels 5 and 6 are taught in KS1. Level 5 consists of alternative graphemes/ pronunciations for known phonemes being taught, alongside split digraphs, suffixes/ prefixes and the teaching of more common exception words. Level 6 which is taught in Year 2 has a bigger emphasis on spelling patterns and rules, homophones, contractions and grammar rules.
We believe that parents and carers are invaluable in helping to support children’s early reading skills and this helps for maximum learning to be achieved when the child, teacher and parent are using the same Phonics techniques and language. To support this a weekly parent information sheet is shared onto children’s google classrooms with sounds taught, actions, mnemonics, songs and letter formation rhymes.
In order for children to apply their Phonics skills it is important that they read texts that are fully decodable at the Phonics level they are working at. To ensure that this can happen we will be using Rhino Readers as our reading scheme which is fully aligned with Twinkl Phonics. The Rhino Reader scheme has a range of fiction, non-fiction, playscripts and instruction books to read. Within each book is a ‘before reading’ page which introduces the sounds and tricky words which will appear in the book. There is also an ‘after reading’ page which includes questions to develop comprehension, sequencing, language and inference skills. In school children will have decodable reading sessions to develop fluency in early reading before moving on to teaching of reading lessons with a bigger focus on comprehension skills.
Any child higher up the school that is not reading fluently, or requires further Phonics teaching, will have daily Phonics lessons following this same format.