Phonics and Early Reading
The use of phonics is one of the many skills needed to be able to be a reader and writer. At Chaucer Primary School, we aim to teach high quality phonics to ensure the children have the best start possible in reading and writing. The learning of phonics is the beginning of children’s knowledge, skills and understanding that are an essential part of learning to read and to access a broad and rich body of written word. In order to read and understand texts children must learn to recognise/decode the words on the page. Good quality phonics teaching allows the child to be secure in the skills of word recognition and decoding which allows children to read fluently. This will result in children being able to read for pleasure and will allow them to move onto developing higher order reading for meaning skills. We also aim to provide the children with the tools to write with confidence and clarity from an early stage and to use their phonemic knowledge to build words in order to communicate through written work.
Reading is central to day to day life in our school. Children are read to as a whole class daily, read in groups, read individually to an adult and read independently. Our children’s journey to become fluent, independent readers begins at the very start of school in EYFS with Phonics.
Pearson Phonics Bug Club
At Chaucer Primary School, we use the Pearson Phonics Bug programme to help your child learn to read. The programme follows an approach of synthesising phonemes associated with graphemes a child sees; or put another way, learning to read by blending the sounds associated with the letters a child sees. The programme is the product of extensive research on effective ways to teach children how to read.
Children are taught a daily structured, systematic, synthetic phonics session for approximately 30 minutes, following the Phonics Bug scheme. This is a DfEE approved scheme and our school has complete fidelity to it. Daily sessions follow the same components:
- Revisit and review session – to reinforce prior learning to help children to know and remember more of their phonics learning
- Teach session for new learning – children learn a new grapheme/phoneme (letter/sound) correspondence
- Practise session – to consolidate new learning
- Application – children apply new learning into sentence reading or writing contexts to strengthen understanding
Grapheme/ phoneme (letter/ sound) correspondences for reading and spelling are taught in a specified order. ‘Tricky Words’ that cannot be decoded using phonics and need a whole word approach are also taught systematically throughout.
See below our EYFS and KS1 Phonics Overview.EYFS-and-KS1-Phonics-Overview
Helping your child with phonics
Children are assessed regularly to ensure that any children experiencing difficulties are identified quickly and appropriate support can be put in place in a timely manner.
For more information on phonics, how it helps children to learn to read and how you can support your child at home, please click on the video link below.
Support with pronouncing phonemes
Producing and saying the phonemes (sounds) correctly is important. Please click on the image below for a link that provides support with this. Click on the image below and click on each grapheme (letter/s) to hear the associated phoneme (sound).Phonics-Mats-1
Bug Club Phonics Reading Books
Children read books from the Phonics Bug scheme that only contain phoneme/grapheme correspondences and ‘Tricky Words’ that they have already been taught. Children usually read with an adult during the week. Some children may require additional support with their reading, and in that case, they read with an adult daily. In addition to opportunities in school, children take books home to practise and apply their skills. Children and parents are encouraged to read each book together a minimum of three times to encourage children to read as fluently as possible. Children have reading record log for teachers and parents to communicate about progress in reading and phonics.Screenshot-2023-03-11-125310.png
As detailed above, a phonics-based approach is used to start our children on their independent reading journey. Children learn to decode books that are closely matched to the graphemes (letters) and phonemes (sounds) they are currently learning.
It is usual for children to keep the same book for at least three reads to help them to develop their fluency in reading. A reading record book is used as a communication tool between parents and teachers. Children are rewarded for their commitment to regular reading.
As soon as children complete the phonics scheme and are confidently achieving the required level of competence and fluency in their phonics and reading, they smoothly transition to the Bug Club Readers to further develop their reading skills. Further information can be found below.bug_club_parent_slides_england