Reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn at school. We are committed to not only ensuring that every child leaves us with the ability to read fluently, but also to ensure that they love to read.
At Ebor Gardens, we believe that phonics is the most effective way to teach your child the skills needed for reading, writing and spelling. This is why we teach phonics from Nursery to KS2. We follow a scheme called ‘Rocket Phonics’ in EYFS and KS1, and ‘Phonics International’ throughout KS2. Both programmes have been approved by the Department of Education as being highly effective in the teaching of phonics.
How will my child be taught?
Your child will be taught to identify, say and read all 44 sounds of the English language. The sounds will be taught in a specific systematic order. Rocket Phonics has grouped these sounds into colour bands, which relates to the colour of the books that your child will be able to read as they explore new letter sounds.
Your child will be taught one letter-sound over two days. The first day will focus on the skill of blending (for reading) and the second day will focus on the skill of segmenting (for
writing). This two-day pattern will be repeated twice through the week, leaving the fifth day as an opportunity for us to focus on common exception words. We believe this provides your child more opportunity to learn, practice and apply the skills being taught before moving on.
Each session follows the same routine. This allows your child to focus on the skill being taught and allows them to complete the task independently.
How can I help my child?
The teaching of sound pronunciation can be tricky! Your child will need lots of practice to help them embed this skill. Rocket Phonics has created 12 videos (please see below), which demonstrates every sound from band ‘Pink’ to band ‘Orange’. These videos can be useful for both you and your child and can be used to assist them in their home learning.
We know as adults that you are very busy but we would encourage you to ask your child to read to you on a daily basis. Each week your child’s teacher will send home a reading book matched to your child’s reading level. Additionally, your child can access the Rising Stars online platform (link below) where they can read e-books.
What will my child be taught in EYFS?
Children in EYFS will receive a daily phonics session. The sessions are taught using the Rocket Phonics resources, such as the big books, flashcards and pupil practice booklets. The sounds are taught in the order that they appear in the Rising Stars books. The chart above shows you the order that your child will be taught the sounds. Below are the Rocket Phonics videos to help with the pronunciations of the code that will be taught in EYFS. For parents of children in Year 1 this would also be useful revision!
Autumn 1 – Pink A
Autumn 2 – Pink B
Spring 1 – Red A
Spring 2 – Red B
Summer 1 – Yellow
What will my child be taught in Year 1?
In Year 1 your child will continue to receive daily phonics lessons which will build upon the foundation established in EYFS. The below videos show the order in which your child will be taught these sounds and the term in which they will be taught.
Autumn 1 – Blue
Autumn 2 – Green
Spring 1 – Green
Spring 2 – Orange
Summer 1 – Orange
Summer 2 – Orange
Will my child have to complete the Phonics Screening check?
In the Summer Term, children in Year 1 are required to take a statutory check to assess their understanding of phonics. Your child will be expected to read 40 simple words, which will be a mix of real words and nonsense words (there is an example of this on the right). If your child does not pass the test in Year 1 they will be given additional support in Year 2 and retake the assessment at the end of Year 2.
Useful information for parents
We use flashcards to begin every session so that our children are confident in their recognition of the letters on the page, and those which they will select for writing. Each flashcard helps children to memorise each sound through use of a picture and a ‘code’ e.g. children would say “s, as in sun” and “ch, as in chick” when presented with the following flashcards.
It is important that children have rapid recall of the sounds of the English alphabetic code; that they are taught to form the letters using the correct sequence of movements, are able to blend the sounds together for reading e.g. “s-a-t, sat” and segment a word into its individual sounds to write words accurately e.g. “cat, c-a-t”.
On the back of each flashcard, there are a series of words for the teacher to model how to read the words – after which children will have chance to mirror the adult and learn the skill for themselves.
Blending follows a set routine, with each sound in the word being pointed to, left to right across the page, as it is spoken e.g. “ch-i-n”. The reader would then swipe their finger left to right across the page as they blend the sounds together to form the word “chin”. To develop fluency, children are then encouraged to read the words without the need to repeat the individual sounds.
1: Say the sound
2: Blend the word
3: Speed read the words
This simple resource allows pupils to memorise the alphabetic code, to practise their reading by blending a set of words with the focus sounds in and to develop their understanding of the words they are reading by finding out about word meaning, within the session. The third step is essential as there can be an over reliance on decoding and blending every word when developing these skills.
Phonics sessions are a vital part of every school day, with all pupils enjoying 30 minutes of phonics learning each day. The session is split into approximately 15 minutes reading (decoding), followed by 15 minutes of spelling (encoding). Pupils work independently throughout this session to complete sound activity sheets.
Children move on to independently read sentences and drawing a picture to show their understanding of the sentence.
The session, overall, provides excellent opportunity to develop pencil control as it includes handwriting practice, colouring and drawing – three very traditional skills which will never be anything less than vital to your child’s future success!
In the last 15 minutes of the session, pupils go on to practice spelling by sounding out the words they are told to spell by their teacher, following the spelling and editing routine.
This routine is designed to enable children to hear and identify the correct number of phonemes (sounds) in words and encode them by selecting the corresponding (correct) graphemes.
Parents can help their children to learn the phonics code through LOTS of practice. As part of the home-learning routine, phonics activity sheets will be sent home for you to re-do with your child, consolidating the learning in school.