We believe that children’s effortless recall of phonics is a very important skill as the first strategy in word recognition, ensuring that they go on to become competent functional life-long readers. Phonics is a systematic system that breaks up words into small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. In phonics lessons at Bradford Academy, children are taught three main things:

They are taught grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPC). This simply means that they are taught all the phonemes in the English language and ways of writing them down. These sounds are taught in a particular order. The first sounds to be taught are s, a, t, p. Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read.Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make it up. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.

For Phonics we use the Read, Write, Inc. phonics program however we do incorporate the Jolly Phonics actions if children are familiar with them. Phonics experiences begin from day one. From Reception up to year two children take part in daily phonics. As the year develops children are brought together in groups which reflect their growing confidence in using and applying skills previously learned. This ensures children gain confidence, don’t feel out of place, achieve success in an unthreatening environment and experience far simpler planning and delivery catering for the needs of all the children. These groups are flexible and teachers regularly meet to discuss the progress of all children. We recognised the importance of early identification of those children who are finding phonics challenging and supporting them individually or in small groups. Children are introduced to all the sounds and actions during reception year. Children in Key Stage Two will also have access to phonics intervention if the teacher feels it will benefit them.

We use a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc to teach phonics. The programme is split into Set 1 sounds, Set 2 sounds and Set 3 sounds. Children learn to read and write the sounds and read and write words with the sounds in them. Children learn to sound out and blend to read by using ‘Fred Talk’ Children lean to spell by segmenting words using ‘Fred Fingers’. Children have daily 30 minute phonics lessons in their groups. Children are assessed and grouped according to ability. Phonics is used daily throughout the curriculum and in areas of provision in the classroom. Children are assessed regularly (each half term) and put into new groups.

Phonics Screening Test

In June children in Year 1 will sit the phonics screening test. Children who are currently in Year 2 will retake the test if they did not pass it when they were in Year 1. The test consists of 40 words. Some words are real and others are nonsense words. The words contain all the sounds from Set 1, 2 and 3.In previous years the pass mark has been 32/40.

Ask your child’s teacher whether your child is currently learning Set 1, Set 2 or Set 3 sounds in order to support them at home,

The different sounds in Set 1, 2 and 3 are attached.

Download the Read Write Inc. Phonics sound list and rhymes here:

Read Write Inc. Phonics sound list and rhymes

Staff are well trained and regularly monitor children’s progress to ensure that they are engaged in activities that develop their skills and help them grow in confidence. Staff provide many and varied opportunities for children to develop their speech through careful questioning and a range of interesting activities. Children are safe and happy and play well together.

Ofsted 2017

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