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In both Class 1 and 2 we have daily phonic sessions that run at 9-9:30 am for Nursery, Reception and KS1 children. Phonics Bug is a fantastic interactive synthetic phonics programme that teaches children how to read and write as they learn the 6 phases. By the end of Class 1 you would expect children to have completed phase 3 and have completed or be working on phase 4.
In Nursery we cover phase 1 phonics which is not covered by Phonics Bug but is a series of games that cover 7 different aspects.
Early phonics teaching in pre-school, nursery and at the start of Reception focuses on developing children’s listening skills.
In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:
Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy.
This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.
In Phase 2, children begin to learn the sounds that letters make (phonemes). There are 44 sounds in all. Some are made with two letters, but in Phase 2, children focus on learning the 19 most common single letter sounds. ‘These are broken down into smaller sets of about six sounds to make them more achievable for children to learn,’.
Your child will learn the most commonly used phonemes first, starting with: /s/, /a/, /t/, /i/, /p/, /n/.
By the end of Phase 2 children should be able to read some vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, and to spell them out. They also learn some high frequency ‘tricky words’ like ‘the’ and ‘go.’
Phase 3 introduces children to the remaining, more difficult and/or less commonly used phonemes. There are around 25 of these, mainly made up of two letters such as /ch/, /ar/, /ow/ and /ee/.
Alongside this, children are taught to recognise more tricky words, including ‘me,’ ‘was,’ ‘my,’ ‘you’ and ‘they’. They learn the names of the letters, as well as the sounds they make. Activities might include learning mnemonics (memory aids) for tricky words, practising writing letters on mini whiteboards, using word cards and singing songs like the Alphabet Song.
Phase 4 phonics
By now, children should be confident with each phoneme. ‘From here on, phonics teaching is about consolidating and refining their knowledge, introducing more spelling patterns and tricky words, and increasing vocabulary,’
In Phase 4 phonics, children will, among other things:
Children should now be blending confidently to work out new words. They should be starting to be able to read words straight off, rather than having to sound them out. They should also be able to write every letter, mostly correctly. This phase usually takes four to six weeks, and most children will complete it around the end of Reception.