Phonics at Cam Woodfield Junior School
At Cam Woodfield Junior School, we believe phonics is key to academic success not only in reading and writing, but in all areas of the curriculum. Therefore, we feel that it is our duty to ensure that all of our learners have a secure phonetical understanding, that enables them to crack the complex code better known as the English language, by the time they leave us in Year 6.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a method used within schools to teach children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch.
How do we teach phonics at CWJS?
At CWJS, we use a programme called 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds'. The programme draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.
We teach phonics every day for 20 minutes, to groups of learners who would benefit from revisiting specific phases that they are not yet secure in. Once these gaps in knowledge have been filled, and the children show a secure phonetical understanding, they then move onto learning spelling patterns and rules that they can apply to their writing. We assess the children's phonics every half term to monitor their progress.
Our daily sessions follow a similar structure, in Phases 2-5:
- Review GPCs (grapheme-phoneme correspondences) e.g. 'ee'
- Review words from previous sessions
- Review tricky words from previous sessions
Teach and practice:
- Introduce the new GPC e.g. '/ee/ y'
- Oral blending e.g. 'h-a-pp-y'
- Introduce new words e.g. 'silly'
- Define any new unfamiliar words
- Introduce a new tricky word
Practice and apply:
- Look at a sentence, identifying any tricky words, as well as our focus GPC for today
- Practice spelling words with our focus GPC in e.g. 'funny'
How can I help my child with phonics?
Children who are receiving phonics will be provided with two reading books. The first book is a 'coloured' book which matches their phonics phase. The children will move up the colour ladder as their phonics progresses. Additionally, they will also be provided with a 'Little Wandle' book to match the graphemes they are currently learning. Both of these books can be read at home as part of their weekly homework of reading 3x a week.
We also encourage parents to use the same terminology as we would in school, to ensure consistency for the children. Please see the videos of Mrs Milton teaching a phonics group at CJWS, to demonstrate what this should look like, as well as the glossary below: