Reading & Floppy Phonics
Reading at Northchapel is a fundamental skill for life that enables children to access all of the other subjects across the curriculum. The documents below show you what we teach in each year group and some of the ways that it is currently taught across the school.
At Northchapel we Follow 'Floppy's Phonics' which is closely linked to Letters and Sounds. Floppy’s Phonics is a rigorous, easy-to-use systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme for early reading and writing success. We use the interactive phonics lessons and activities to teach sounds, blending, grapheme-phoneme correspondences, letter formation and pronunciation to the whole class, groups or for individual practice.
The programme is started immediately as children enter Reception; with the expectation that they will be fluent readers, having secured word recognition skills, by the end of key stage one.
Phonics sessions take place every day and last for 15-20 minutes initially, rising to 30 minutes during level 1 + and thereafter 30 minutes throughout Reception and Year 1 and year 2 if required. The children are taught as a whole class at a steady rate progressively moving through each level. In reception levels 1-3 are taught progressively and then in year 1 the children move onto learning level 4 and 5. Progress is assessed at the end of teaching books and at the end of levels to ensure rapid progress is being made and quick intervention can be given if required to those who need it either for sound recognition, blending or application into spelling. If there is a need to extend pupils this is done so within that taught level and they are not moved beyond this.
Each phonic session is structured as follows with 2 lessons per sound, one with a focus on reading and the other with a focus on spelling and writing:
- Revisit and review – Practise recognition of previously taught letters and common exception/tricky words. Practise oral blending and segmenting using pure sound .Practise reading word lists and sound posters.
- Teach – Teach new grapheme and blending and segmenting with the new grapheme Teach new tricky words – these are also introduced in a clearly defined sequence.
Children will be shown how to write the grapheme using print, if handwriting issues are identified they should be noted for later intervention to pick up in taught handwriting and practise sessions.
- Practise – Practise reading or spelling using taught graphemes, including interactive parts of flopy's, word cards with the graphemes, phoneme spotters or activities from the teaching books
- Apply – Read or write a caption using taught, tricky and decodable words or read a section from a phonetically decodable book
- Consolidate - More application if needed of the above.
To ensure consistency and fidelity to SSP all phonics teachers using floppy's phonics flashcards, friezes, sound mats and other resources to ensure consistency for children moving between groups or year groups and it allows no distractions when reading graphemes and words.
To scaffold learning:
- staff use a ‘dashes' to represent each single letter grapheme and to represent a grapheme of more than one letter when spelling and writing and when reading children use their 'pointy finger' to track.
- when sound talking words, each phoneme in a word is shown using the fingers on one hand raising them from right to left (left to right for the children as this is the direction we read).
- Phonics lessons should be fast paced and constantly reinforce knowledge and consolidate understanding.
- Children who are falling behind should be swiftly identified and targeted interventions provided to enable them to keep up. The same resources used in lessons are used to deliver group or 1:1 interventions for consistency.
- Nonsense words or alien words are not introduced until term 3 in preparation for the Y1 Phonics Screening Check.
- Current Friezes for each group or class should be displayed and tricky words should be visible for the current level.
- To ensure quality, consistency and continuity of teaching, training in the delivery of Floppy's phonics will be provided by the Reading Lead.
Phonics Screening Check
At the end of year 1, children sit a phonics screening to check their understanding and knowledge of phonics. To help prepare them for this you need to practise any sounds sent home and continue daily reading. We practise these checks with the children in school so they are familiar with the content and process. Please see below some other useful materials to support practise for the phonics screening check.