At Danecourt we believe that every child is a unique individual and therefore the curriculum must be flexible, appropriately differentiated and personalised to meet the needs of the pupils that attend. In our phonics approach we aim to build children’s speaking and listening skills, as well as teaching them early reading skills and developing their phonic knowledge and skills.
As a school we are using the Letters and Sounds phonics resource published by the Department of Education. The sessions are planned to be interactive, engaging and relevant to each pupil’s phonics stage.
Children start by accessing Phase 1 of the programme, where they are taught the early reading skills of: General sound discrimination – environmental, General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds, General sound discrimination – body percussion, Rhythm and Rhyme, Alliteration and Voice sounds. These 6 aspects can be taught in any order, with the final aspect (7) being Oral blending and segmenting. For more information please refer to http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/phase-1.html
Once children are secure in Phase 1 they are taught synthetic phonics. This teaches the children the sounds of the alphabet as opposed to just the letters of the alphabet. Once some sounds are taught the children learn to blend the sound the sounds phonetically to form words, and to segment (sound out) words to decode them. Through their phonics sessions they will also build their vocabulary and increase their fluency and comprehension skills.
To support children with their letter formation we use the Read Write Inc letter formation rhymes. Please see the picture below with the letter formation rhymes: