Queens’ Federation: Phonics Subject Statement
At the Queens’ Federation we aim to foster ‘Learning for Life.’
We will provide a rich, relevant and inspirational curriculum that promotes a lifelong love of learning and equips our pupils with the key knowledge and understanding, skills and personal qualities that they will need to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Our curriculum is designed to be relevant to our children and is linked to the context of our school and the local community.
Phonics is an area of the curriculum which will provide pupils with a secure understanding of the letter sounds and spelling system of the English language to access learning across a range of subjects and topics, and will develop key skills and foundations for reading and writing that they will need throughout their lives. A language rich learning environment will have a key role in sparking the incentive for children to learn to read and write, and purposeful tasks will encourage this throughout school.
Phonics is taught through a variety of meaningful activities using a synthetic, systematic approach. At the Queens’ Federation we follow Letters and Sounds. Lessons follow a four step process – revisit (recapping children’s existing knowledge of letters and sounds), teach (learning new graphemes and their corresponding phonemes), practise and apply (applying what they have learnt to reading and writing).
In the first stages of phonics, children are encouraged to use their listening skills to explore the world around them and distinguish between the sounds they hear. Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds is introduced in Nursery. Once pupils begin in Reception, Phase 2 is introduced. Here, pupils learn to identify initial sounds of words and segment and blend sounds to read and write simple CVC words. Pupils then build on this knowledge and begin to read and write longer words and simple sentences. In Phase 3 and 4 of Letters and Sounds, pupils are introduced to digraphs and trigraphs and are encouraged to write longer sentences. Phase 5 introduces alternative graphemes for previously taught phonemes. The reading and writing of common exception words is also a strong focus of our daily phonics lessons throughout phases 2 to 5. The acquisition of a solid phonic knowledge in KS1 supports our pupils to develop their reading and spelling knowledge as they progress through KS2.
At the Queens’ Federation, we want all pupils to become confident and accurate readers. We foster a love of reading from an early age. Early reading materials are closely linked to phonic knowledge. For pupils who find phonics tricky, targeted daily interventions support their acquisition of knowledge. For lower attaining pupils in KS2, regular phonic interventions take place and reading materials are also matched to their phonic knowledge.
Parents are encouraged to be as involved as possible in their child’s phonics journey. Parent workshops are held to enable parents to discover how phonics is taught in school and how they can best support their children at home. Information regarding the National Phonics Screening Check is also provided for parents.
Rigorous and robust teaching of phonics will enable our pupils to develop the skills needed to read familiar and unfamiliar texts and become fluent, confident and independent readers who read for enjoyment. Pupils will be able to spell and read a variety of simple and tricky words and will meet the required pass rate in the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1.