How do we teach phonics
at Whiston J & I School?
We use the Letters and Sounds resource to teach phonics.
What is Letters and Sounds?
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers. For more detailed information, visit the Letters and Sounds website.
Phonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One (Nursery/Reception)
|Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.|
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks
|Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.|
|Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks||The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.|
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
|No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.|
|Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)||Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.|
|Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)||
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.
See our Phonics Policy below
Year 1 Phonics 2019
When is the Y1 Phonics screening check this year?
Week commencing Monday 10th June 2019 - Friday 14th June 2019
Find out more about Y1 Phonics Screening Tests
What is the Y1 Phonics screening check?
The Phonics Screening Check is meant to show how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify students who need extra phonics help. The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about four to nine minutes to complete.
What’s on it?
The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters. The teacher administering the check with your child will give them a few practice words to read first – including some non-words – so they understand more about what they have to do. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster / alien, as if the word were their name (and so your child doesn't think the word is a mistake because it doesn't make sense!).
You can download the Department for Education's official Year 1 Phonics screening check past paper from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 to get an idea of what your child will be asked to do.
When does the Y1 Phonics screening check take place each year?
Schools will administer the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check the second week in June. (See above for actual dates)
Does my child have to take it?
Yes – all students in Year 1 in England must take the Screening Check.
What will my child’s score mean?
Your child will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard.
Between 2013 - 2018 the "pass threshold" has been 32, which means children had to read at least 32 words out of 40 correctly. The threshold mark is communicated to schools at the end of June, after the test has been taken, so that teachers can mark the Check.
You will be told how your child did, but schools’ results will not be published. If your child’s score falls below the standard, they will be given extra phonics help and can re-take the Phonics screening check in Year 2.
How can I help my child prepare?
You can help your child prepare for their Phonics Screening Check by going over the phonics they’ve learned in Reception and Year 1. Read new books and stories with them where they will be introduced to new words that they’ll have to sound out, and review the phonics sounds and rules. You can download an interactive phonics sounds worksheet on TheSchoolRun to help with this.
We also offer free phonics worksheets to download, as well as subscriber packs (Fabulous phonics offers an overview and 50 worksheets; Phonics games is a collection of ten downloadable phonics board games) and practice tests to help your child get used to the check format.