Phonics & Spelling
At St Michael’s we believe passionately that reading is a vital life skill and we are committed to ensuring that all children become fluent readers as quickly as possible.
We use the letters and sounds progression to teach children the sounds of the English language through daily phonics lessons.
In reception, the children begin by learning the 44 sounds. Through ‘sounding out’ words and blending the sounds together children learn to read and write. At this early stage children use their sounds to help them spell, as well as learning a small number of common and tricky words from Dr Jonathon Solity’s list of common words 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 in a particular word.
In addition to daily phonics lessons, children in KS1 have regular guided reading sessions focussing on the 3 main skills of reading:
- Decoding (using their phonics knowledge to sound out unknown words)
- Comprehension (understanding the text they are reading)
- Prosody (reading with expression)
By the end of Key Stage 1, our pupils are able to read aloud age-appropriate texts with fluency, speed and expression.
The books that children take home are closely matched to their phonics knowledge and are fully decodable (meaning they can use their phonics knowledge to sound out any unknown words). Repeated practice of these books both at home and school allows children to develop fluency.
In addition to their decodable books, children also take home a high quality book to share with adults and siblings. This exposes children to a range of vocabulary, stories and non-fiction texts beyond their current reading ability.