Phonics is taught daily at Christ the King and we follow the Lancashire Red Rose phonics scheme. The intent behind Red Rose Letters and Sounds is to provide a rigorous and thorough planning programme in order to strengthen the teaching and learning of phonics, and ensure children become enthusiastic and successful readers and writers.
The programme provides a clear route with daily sessions and a very rigorous approach through Phases 2-5 with a strong and swift start in Reception and a trajectory of learning to meet, and exceed, the expected standard in the Y1 Phonics Screening Check. Children in Reception begin the programme on entry to school. The planned route is:
Phase 2 – 12 weeks (autumn term)
Phase 3 – 15 weeks (spring term and continuing into summer term)
Phase 4– 4 weeks (summer term)
Phase 5 – 5 weeks – further graphemes for reading
Phase 5 – 4 weeks – alternative pronunciations
Phase 5 – 13 weeks – alternative spellings for phonemes
Phonics Screening Check (PSC) graphemes are included throughout the programme. Pseudo words are included from Phase 3 Week 12 onwards for Phonics Screening Check practice.
Year 2 – word reading
Lancashire Key Learning in Reading and Learning and Progression Steps documents support planning for word reading through decoding by the end of key stage one.
Carefully considered word banks are included to support planning to apply phonic knowledge of skills into reading and writing after explicit teaching of each GPC. These word banks include decodable high frequency words linked to each group of GPCs. In addition, stretch and challenge word banks are provided which support vocabulary development across each phase. As part of daily phonics sessions and in additional handwriting practice sessions, opportunities are
included for children to practise the spelling of GPCs with application into words and sentences. Dictated sentences are frequently included so children can apply phonic words, tricky words, and high frequency words within engaging activities.
Red Rose phonics also aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well as prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.
Within the programme, a comprehensive overview of progression is provided. This tool outlines clear incremental progression steps for phonic knowledge and skills, and expectations of progress within and across phases. It enables teachers to conduct frequent and ongoing assessment to track and record children’s progress and to identify those children at, below or above expected levels, so that appropriate support can be provided.
At Christ the King we use catch-up and consolidation programmes in order to support children falling behind who need extra practice. These programmes follow the same
progression as Red Rose Letters and Sounds. The programmes include:
• Fast Track Phonics for Phase 2 to Phase 5
• Bounce Back Phonics for Phase 4 and Phase 5
• Bounce Back Boost Pack for additional elements of Phase 5
Articulation of phonemes
A useful video clip showing the correct 'pure' pronunciation of phonemes (units of sound).
In Phase 2, children begin to learn the sounds that letters make (phonemes). There are 44 sounds in all. Some are made with two letters, but in Phase 2, children focus on learning the 19 most common single letter sounds.
Although the order in which sounds are taught will depend on which scheme your child’s school follows, usually, they will learn the most commonly used phonemes first, starting with: /s/, /a/, /t/, /i/, /p/, /n/.
By the end of Phase 2 children should be able to read some vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, and to spell them out. They also learn some high frequency ‘tricky words’ like ‘the’ and ‘go.’ This phase usually lasts about six weeks.
Phase 3 introduces children to the remaining, more difficult and/or less commonly used phonemes. There are around 25 of these, depending on which scheme is followed, mainly made up of two letters such as /ch/, /ar/, /ow/ and /ee/. They learn the names of the letters, as well as the sounds they make. Activities might include learning mnemonics (memory aids) for tricky words, practising writing letters on mini whiteboards, using word cards and singing songs like the Alphabet Song.
Phase 3 takes most children around 12 weeks. By the end, they should be able to say the sound made by most, or all, Phase 2 and 3 graphemes, blend and read CVC words made from these graphemes, read 12 new tricky words and write letters correctly when given an example to copy.
By now, children should be confident with each phoneme. In Phase 4 phonics, children will, among other things:
Children should now be blending confidently to work out new words. They should be starting to be able to read words straight off, rather than having to sound them out. They should also be able to write every letter, mostly correctly. This phase usually takes four to six weeks, and most children will complete it around the end of Reception.
Phase 5 generally takes children the whole of Year 1. Children learn new graphemes (different ways of spelling each sound) and alternative pronunciations for these: for example, learning that the grapheme ‘ow’ makes a different sound in ‘snow’ and ‘cow’.
They should become quicker at blending, and start to do it silently.
They learn about split digraphs such as the a-e in ‘name.’
They’ll start to choose the right graphemes when spelling, and will learn more tricky words, including ‘people,’ ‘water’ and ‘friend’. They also learn one new phoneme: /zh/, as in ‘treasure.’
By the end of Year 1, children should be able to:
At the end of Year 1, all children are given a Phonics Screening Check to ensure they have mastered the appropriate knowledge.
Phase 6 phonics takes place throughout Year 2, with the aim of children becoming fluent readers and accurate spellers.
By Phase 6, children should be able to read hundreds of words using one of three strategies:
Children should now be spelling most words accurately (this is known as 'encoding'), although this usually lags behind reading.
They will also learn, among other things:
Although formal phonics teaching is usually complete by the end of Year 2, children continue to use their knowledge as they move up the school.
Below are the 50 recommended books for each year group, as recommended by the website www.booksfortopics.com