Freshwaters Approach to Phonics
At Freshwaters Primary Academy, our main focus is to teach the children the phonic skills required to be able to blend words fluently. We use a programme, which was produced and recommended by the Government, entitled Letters and Sounds and employ this as our primary phonics teaching programme throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
Children start to learn phonics in Foundation Stage, engaging in a daily 20-minute sessions, where they begin to learn the range of graphemes (letters or groups of letters) that symbolise the 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language. Children in Foundation Stage use actions to help remember the sounds and these are carried up with them in to Key Stage 1. Pupils learn how to use these phonemes to blend together the sounds to read a word and how to segment a word into the phonemes in order to spell it.
These initial skills are further developed in Year 1 and Year 2 through daily phonics sessions. In Year 1 pupils begin to learn there are a range of different spellings for a phoneme and that a grapheme can be pronounced in different ways (e.g. the ow in cow is different to the ow in crow). By the end of Year 2, pupils’ daily phonics sessions begin to focus on grammar and spelling rules, as their blending skills reach a more fluent level. They begin to investigate spelling rules and use their reading skills to proof read their own work.
Parents are encouraged to support their children in learning their new phonemes and graphemes and the learning of new sight vocabulary through spellings and home reading books linked to our reading scheme.