St Patrick's Catholic Primary School

Being able to read is the most important skill children learn during their early schooling and has far-reaching implications for lifelong learning, confidence and well-being. At St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, we are committed to the delivery of excellence in the teaching of phonics. High quality phonic teaching is the prime means by which we teach children how to read and spell words.

At St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School we follow the government recommended ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme which aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well as preparing them for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills.

Practitioners are alert to the opportunities afforded for language development through children’s play, and they link learning from the Letters and Sounds programme with all six areas of the EYFS.

Phonics in EYFS

In EYFS we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme which has 6 different phases, that the children progress through as their reading skills develop. 

Practitioners are alert to the opportunities afforded for language development through children’s play, and they link learning from the Letters and Sounds programme with all six areas of the EYFS.

Nursery

Discreet phonics sessions take place weekly in Nursery, which concentrate on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work. The sessions aim to encourage children to:

  • Learning to listen attentively
  • Enlarging their vocabulary
  • Speaking confidently to adults and other children
  • Discriminating between different phonemes
  • Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear
  • Using sound-talk to segment words into phonemes

 

Reception

Differentiated discrete phonics lessons take place daily in Reception. They follow the cycle of ‘Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply’ to ensure that children are consolidating phonic knowledge and skills over time and that they are able to apply them in context. Consequently, wherever possible, links between phonics knowledge and understanding are made to learning in both Reading and Writing. These lessons proceed at pace and incorporate a wide range of practical and interactive learning opportunities to engage the children. These learning opportunities are carefully chosen to ensure that children develop their skills in aural discrimination and phonemic and rhyme awareness, blending and segmenting as well as grapheme-phoneme correspondence. This is supported by phonics based routines, activities and games throughout the Early Years provision and a broad and rich language curriculum.

These adult-led activities are supported by a language-rich provision that serves the best interests of the children by fully recognising their propensity for play and its importance in their development.

Phonics in KS1

In KS1 we follow the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme which has 6 different phases, that the children progress through as their reading skills develop.  We also use Phonics Play planning and resources to support the teaching of phonics up to Phase 5.  Spelling Play planning and resources are used to support the teaching of Phase 6.  Other resourced can also be sourced and used. 

 

Differentiated discrete phonics lessons take pace daily in KS1.  They follow the cycle of a four part lesson of ‘Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply’ to ensure that children are consolidating phonic knowledge and skills over time and that they are able to apply them in context. Consequently, wherever possible, links between phonics knowledge and understanding are made to learning in both Reading and Writing. These lessons proceed at pace and incorporate a wide range of practical and interactive learning opportunities to engage the children. These learning opportunities are carefully chosen to ensure that children develop their skills in aural discrimination and phonemic and rhyme awareness, blending and segmenting as well as grapheme-phoneme correspondence.


Children in KS1 are streamed for phonics, based on the phase they are accessing, to ensure all children are accessing the exact learning they need to help their progression in reading.  
 They also take home a phonetically decodable reading book which links to the phonics phase they are currently working within to support their early reading skills to develop further. 

 

Children are assessed every half term to help the teacher identify particular sounds they need work on and any segmenting and blending support they need.  Where necessary, children may access extra phonics booster sessions to further support their learning. 

 

Early Reading at St Patricks

Alongside our phonics programme, we also focus heavily on early reading skills in KS1, and these lead into KS2 as children move through the school.  We use a whole class guided reading approach to teach literal, inferential and evaluative skills from the beginning of Year 1.  Children are also encouraged to read independently, both to themselves and to adults when appropriate, as well as being read stories as part of class story time.  This is all to develop and instil a real love of reading to all of our pupils.  Reading is a priority and opportunities to read runs through the whole curriculum.

 

To support children with their early reading, we have a wide selection of phonetically decodable books from the Floppy Phonics, Alien Adventures and Hero Academy ranges, alongside Oxford Reading Tree stories.  We encourage children to change their books once a week, where they have a book from the phonics phase they are working on, and pick a book of their choice which can be read alongside and adult, for enjoyment and comprehension opportunities.  

We also have an Oxford Owls account, where all of our pupils can access an e-library full of books that they can read and enjoy at home.