Being a Reader at CCI (Phonics)
Lead Reader: Jenni Rylands
At CCI we aim to equip all children with the key skills they need to become readers before they move onto our Junior school. We work closely with the children to develop their understanding of synthetic phonics, which supports them decoding and blending words to enable them to read. We have introduced a new phonics program for Sept 2020 which enables us to more closely monitor the consistency of progress across the school and allows children to build on block of learning from Reception to Year 2.
Which Phonics program do we use?
We use Bug Club Phonics to teach phonics and SPaG across the school. Bug Club Phonics meets 100% of the DfE criteria for teaching systematic synthetic phonics and provides everything needed to help children succeed in early reading. It combines an online reading world with eBooks, interactive assessment games and teaching resources with a systematic method of teaching sounds, building words and learning how to read and write those words.
Bug Club Phonics provides a solid foundation for all children using the systemetic synthetic phonic approach. It has been shown to give the best foundation in reading for all children regardless of social and economic background. Phonics Bug keeps children working as a class, booting the performance of children progressing more steadily, when they are additionally support outside of the whole class sessions – something we ensure we are incorporating in our teaching across the school.
We ensure that through this program your child is reading in line with their phonic progression and they are reading appropriate books that they can access using the phonics they are building up as they move through the year. This program uses videos of well know Cbeebies presenters and as such feel familiar to the children especially as they first begin their journey into reading. You can choose to weave in reading books that are not fully decodable – something we do as a school once the chidlren have a secure understanding of their initial phonic phases – phases 2-4 – and some understanding of alternative phonemes in phase 5. Through frequent assessment Bug Club ensures that your child is being supported closely by their teacher as they learn to read. This program also allows us as a school to support home reading and phonics practise by highlighting areas for development for your child on line so that these can be worked on at home though reading books and playing games.
Progress through Phonics at CCI
Children are taught phonics in the following phases:
Usually children work on phase 1 when they are in nursery school. At CCI we begin with phase 2 in EYFS, working through to phase 4. In Year 1 we move onto phase 5 after recapping the previous phases, we then move onto phase 6 which continues into Year 2. Year 2 children then learn focus on learning Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. All children work though these phases at different rates and we support each child with their individual journey.
How often do children learn Phonics at CCI?
At CCI we timetable a discrete phonics session into each day for all classes – this can be from 10 mins at the beginning of EYFS to ½ an hour including practical activities. This is an opportunity to introduce new sounds, practise reading skills and learn about letter formation. The lovely thing about learning phonics is that it comes into most lessons that we teach – making practising it easy! We use phonics if we share a book at school, if we are writing a sentence, if we are reading a maths problem, if we are finding out about history, if we are using a computer…. The list goes on. This is a skill that we use across the curriculum and one that we practise all of the time to support children to become confident readers.
Phonics progress is monitored very closely, with the program suggesting that children who are not secure in sounds taught are quickly targeted with support to ensure that they are keeping up their peers. Each time children learn a new set of sounds – these are often taught 4 in a set – they are assessed to ensure that they are recognising those sounds and then that they are able to write those sounds as well.
At the end of each term progress is looked at across classes and the year groups and this information is used to inform future planning ensuring that gaps are filled and that all children can perform to their best ability in reading using phonic decoding.
Children sit a Phonics Screening Assessment at the end of Year 1 – this screening is an external assessment and is used to monitor the progress of children across the county in learning phonics. This assessment is made of 40 words that the children read aloud – 20 of these words are real words and 20 words are pseudo or alien words that children will need to use their phonics knowledge to decode. We work with the children across EYFS and Year 1 to practise reading both real and alien words in preparation for this screening.