‘’Once you learn to read, you will be forever free” Frederick Douglass
At Shavington Primary School we are committed to the delivery of excellence in the teaching of phonics. We aim to provide children with the means to read with fluency and confidence and above all to foster a love of reading that will stay with our children throughout their lives.
At Shavington Primary school we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly using The Floppy’s Phonics teaching programme. This includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words, as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. In addition to this, it also creates a wonderful platform for discussion and comprehension around texts. This structure of teaching uses the phonic phases that are outlined in the ‘letters and sounds’ programme in 5 levels, each with new phonemes to be learnt and increasing with difficulty as you progress through the levels.
We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently and as quickly as possible, whilst encouraging them to draw on their BLP animal of resourcefulness, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact upon the children’s self esteem and future life chances.
Using the Floppy phonics programme we teach children to:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- Encourage them to focus on their BLP animal of reflectiveness to help them to spot new sounds that they can apply to new and unfamiliar words as well as question word meaning to broaden their understanding of a variety of texts.
- To develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and understanding.
- To apply their phonic knowledge in both their reading and writing, accurately and coherently.
At Shavington Primary school, we recognise that reading and writing is an essential life skill and we are dedicated to enabling our children to become enthused, engaged and successful lifelong readers and writers. To Support this we follow the structure of the Floppy’s phonics scheme.
The Floppy’s Phonics programme teaches the letter/s-sound correspondences of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading and spelling. It includes the characters of Floppy the dog, Biff, Chip and Kipper and their family and friends, which engages children fully for the phonics teaching & learning, vocabulary enrichment and language comprehension.
Initially children's listening skills are developed through the use of music, environmental sounds and rhyme. During their journey from nursery through the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 they are taught the 44 phonemes (sounds) that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter 'b as in bed' and those that are made by two 'ai as in rain or three letters 'igh as in high'.
Children are taught the key skills of blending sounds together for reading and segmenting (breaking up) words for spelling.
As the children grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, eg 'ee' can be represented as 'ee, as in bee', 'ea as in tea', 'e-e as in theme' and 'e as in we'. They also learn when to apply simple spelling rules and use verbs in the correct tense.
We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable. In Reception to Year 2, children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, explore, practise and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.
We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, grapheme tiles, speaking and listening, and practical activities. Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the whole curriculum.
By the time children leave ks1 and progress into ks2, children have a good understanding of the alphabetic code and have become confident resourceful readers and writers who reflect upon their learning. Children have been subjected to a wide variety of texts, both from their own individual reading as well as those shared with the class. As a result, children have a thirst for reading and are able to participate in discussions, ask probing questions and apply their skills across the curriculum.
Throughout the teaching of Floppy’s phonics we are able to measure their attainment after each level and provide children with correct additional support to either help embed their learning or provide them with the next level of challenge. In addition, we are able to see the impact of this programme with their progress in the Year One phonics screening check. We are able to use all this to make sure that the teaching of good synthetic phonics continues to follow those children that need it throughout their primary education.