Phonics & Spelling
Basic skills of reading and spelling are an essential part of children’s early learning.
In Reception, the children begin by learning the 44 sounds in the English language. Through ‘sounding out’ words and blending the sounds together children learn to read and write. This is supported by ‘The Phonics Bug’ and ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ reading schemes so that the children embed the skill of sounding out words and developing sight vocab of high frequency words as they progress through their learning. There are then a variety of supplementary reading schemes such as ‘Project X’ and ‘Rapid Readers’ which are available to help support teaching and learning for children who are finding their learning difficult.
At this early stage children use their sounds to help them spell, as well as learning a small number of common and tricky words (words which are not phonically decodable) such as ‘was’ and ‘you’.
Phonics teaching continues throughout Year One where children learn the different ways sounds can be represented in print. Children continue to learn to read and spell common and tricky words such as ‘were’ and ‘who’. In Year Two the emphasis in phonics teaching moves towards increasingly accurate spelling and choosing the right spelling for the sound.
Phonics teaching at St Michael’s is highly effective and current data shows that 96% of children achieved the expected level in the Year 1 Phonics test, placing the school in the top 5% nationally.
By the end of Key Stage 1, our pupils are able to read aloud age-appropriate texts accurately and with sufficient speed. This prepares them for Key Stage 2 where alongside comprehension skills, spelling, grammar and punctuation lessons continue to be taught effectively.