Our Approach to Phonics
At Mexborough St John the Baptist Church of England Primary School our main focus is to teach children the phonic skills required to be able to blend and read words fluently. We achieve this by using the 'Jolly Phonics' system in conjunction with 'Letters and Sounds', a programme, which was produced and recommended by the Government.
Children start to learn phonics in the Foundation Stage, engaging in a 20 minute daily session where they begin to learn the range of graphemes (letters or groups of letters) that symbolise the 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language. Children in Foundation Stage use 'Jolly Phonics' to introduce new letters and sounds. This is a fun child centered approach to teaching synthetic phonics using actions and songs. Pupils learn how to use these phonemes to blend together the sounds to read a word and how to segment a word into the phonemes in order to spell it.
These initial skills are further developed in Year 1 and Year 2 through daily phonics sessions. In Year 1 pupils begin to learn there are a range of different spellings for a phoneme and that a grapheme can be pronounced in different ways (e.g. the ow in cow is different to the ow in crow). By the end of Year 2, pupils’ daily phonics sessions begin to focus on grammar and spelling rules, as their blending skills reach a more fluent level. They begin to investigate spelling rules and use their reading skills to proof read their own work.
Parents are encouraged to support their children in learning their new phonemes and graphemes and the learning of new sight vocabulary through spellings and home reading books linked to our reading scheme.
At Mexborough St John the Baptist School we use a phonic structure which sets out what is to be taught in each year group from Foundation 1 (Nursery) to Year 2. It has been adapted to take into account the curriculum changes in 2014. See the link below.