What is Phonics?

Phonics is a teaching strategy used to help children begin to read words by breaking each word up into its individual sounds before blending those sounds back together to make the word. Children learn to ‘decode’ words by breaking it down into sounds rather than having to memorise 1,000’s of words individually. Children will then use the same strategy to read whole sentences and blend them together again.

Some words cannot be sounded out. These are named ‘tricky words’ and will be learned to be read by sight.

What programme of teaching do we use at Garfield?

At Garfield, we use a programme to teach phonics called ‘Scholfield and Sims -My new letters and sounds’.

The scheme is based on the ‘simple view of reading’ approach which states a child becomes a successful reader when they have good word recognition and good language comprehension.

This is a multi-sensory and structured programme that teaches the children 43+ phonemes during Reception and Year 1, leading onto more complex spelling strategies in Year 2.

Learning is divided into Phases, starting with Phase 1 in Nursery, Phase 2/3 in Reception, Phase 4/5 in Year 1 and Phase 6 in Year 2. Phonics may continue being taught in Year 3 depending on the need. All phases are revised and revisited when needed.

In Key Stage 2, whole class phonics is taught based on the needs of individual classes. Pupils in KS2 who require additional phonics support take part in intervention groups. The pupils are assessed and a programme is created based on their needs.

In Reception and Year 1, cued articulation resources are used to teach phonics.

What is cued articulation?

Cued Articulation supports the teaching of speech sounds visually, using hand signs which match the way the mouth moves when sounding out. Children relate the sound to the action and are able to learn it through the memory of the physical action.

Phonics screening check

Towards the end of Year 1, pupils take part in a phonics screening check. The phonics screening check has been introduced by the Department of Education to check the phonics knowledge of children across the country. Please visit the government website for more information.