At HCPS we follow the six phases of the DfE’s Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics across EYFS and Key Stage One, then in to Key Stage Two where appropriate. It offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons that supports the effective teaching of phonics within EYFS, KS1 and, where appropriate, KS2.
Phase 1 - Throughout phase 1, young learners develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to discriminate between and use auditory, environmental and instrumental sounds. Phase 1 is taught in Nursery and runs throughout the teaching of phonics Levels 2-6. In EYFS, children work within phases 2-4. Here learners are introduced to phonemes/sounds and graphemes/letters systematically. They also learn to develop and apply blending and segmenting skills for reading and writing.
Within KS1, children work within phases 5 and 6. The coherently planned sequence of lessons within Level 5 allows opportunities for children to apply their phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling. It focuses on phonetically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words and the alternative ways of pronouncing and representing the long vowel phonemes. Furthermore, children will develop their ability to attempt to read and spell increasingly complex words. By phase 6, children explore spelling patterns and grammar while also developing a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding in the recognition and spelling of common exception words.
The phonics programme intends to not only provide children with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding essential for reading and writing, but also, to develop each child’s confidence, resilience and engagement in phonics lessons and a love for reading and writing.
The Phonics Progression Map sets clear expectations for pupil’s progress within the phonics programme. Assessment through ‘Phonics Tracker’ allows teachers and practitioners to track
pupil’s progress. Phonics tracker is used at least half-termly so that teachers can identify gaps and see which children are achieving at every stage. Children not making adequate
progress can be identified immediately so that targeted support can be given. It provides opportunities for data analysis and encourages discussions around pupil progress, group
progress, future learning and misconceptions, enabling schools to respond and adapt teaching within the programme to provide additional support and challenge to pupils.
The phonics programme ensures a clearly defined structure to the teaching of phonics. The lessons will enable all learners to develop and apply new skills while also providing opportunities to further apply these skills within fun and engaging activities and through continuous provision. Phonics lessons will be well planned to allow children to apply and practise phonics skills and challenge learners.
Teacher guides for each stage are provided in the ‘HCPS Phonics Folders’ to allow teachers and adults working with children to feel confident in their own subject knowledge, knowing they are fulfilling the national phonics criteria and enabling each child to achieve their potential. Opportunities will be given to provide support to teachers, support staff and parents.
The impact of using the phonics programme as the basis of phonics teaching within EYFS and KS1, will be for children to develop their phonics skills and knowledge through a systematic, synthetic approach, while covering the statutory requirements outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum. The programme will prepare children for the statutory year 1 phonics screening check complements the DfE’s Letters and Sounds document. Following the programme ensures a consistent approach to phonics, which are clear to teaching staff and learners.