Pupils at England Lane Academy access a consistent and engaging approach to phonics teaching so they become enthusiastic and fluent readers. We believe that children need to not only read well, but understand what they are reading and enjoy books to the fullest.
At England Lane, we use Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) to enable all our children to leave us with the skills of an outstanding reader and writer.
From the moment they enter nursery, children are exposed to a variety of sounds throughout the day (environmental, instrumental) with the emphasis on talking and listening. Pre-phonics skills in Nursery plays a vital role in a child’s introduction to phonics.
Daily phonics lessons are taught from Reception, where children will be introduced to phonemes and graphemes. Reception incorporates Phases 2 – 5 throughout the year. They will develop their ability to segment and blend phonemes together to say a word. Opportunities for reading are provided through guided reading sessions and endless opportunities for children to practice and apply their learning in provision. Children are provided with fully decodable books that are matched to their ability.
In Year 1, these skills are built upon further, where children are able to revisit prior phases of phonics and learning. They build upon that by learning alternative spelling and pronunciation. Daily phonics and daily interventions are given to children to help them in their phonics. Fully decodable books are an integral part of this strategy, as children participate in guided reading sessions where they can practice their reading skills even further, not only to embed their phonic knowledge, but also to promote fluency. They are provided with books to take home that they can decode, as well as a book for pleasure.
Year 2 consolidates all previous learning and expands upon it once again. Children can practise and revisit their knowledge and apply that to their reading and writing. The emphasis moves toward spellings, homophones and suffixes. Children are still provided with decodable books which help revisit and maintain good phonetic knowledge. At this stage, most children should have passed their phonics screening and have good phonic knowledge to start building up their fluency. Building up fluency is a key focus alongside developing children to be confident and understanding readers.
As children move further up school, support with phonics continues, where necessary, for those who need it. Children are still provided with books to match their fluency and understanding depending on their reading level.
All staff have access to quality CPD to support the teaching of phonics. Trust wide network support ensures that colleagues are well informed, well trained and confident in the teaching of phonics.