Phonics and Reading

Phonics are at the heart of our Early Years provision. Effective phonics learning ensures that children can access the rest of the curriculum. If they are proficient readers they can build good foundations for future learning.
We make phonics fun and interactive. We encourage the children to listen and tune into sounds in Nursery by exploring instruments, using our voices, shakers filled with different objects and environmental sounds. We then build on this learning in Reception by following the Westcliffe Federation phonics plan which follows the Letters and Sounds framework. We introduce a number of sounds and tricky words each week by playing games and using lots of repetition to embed the learning. We use resources such as Twinkl, Phonics play, Alphablocks and Teach your Monster to Read.
Once the children have grasped the sounds we move on to segmenting and blending the sounds together in order to decode words. This is a key skill that takes lots of practice. The games help to make practicing the sounds, tricky words, segmenting and blending fun. The more they play the more confident they become. We use sound mats to support children in remembering their sounds when writing.
The children move from phase 1 – phase 5. Hopefully by the end of year 1 they will have developed great confidence within all 5 phases of phonics development ready to continue their development in year 2.
The children read daily in phonics and their guided reading groups. They take it in turns to share a book specially chosen for each group. The book will link to the phonics that are being taught that week or phonics that those children need to build confidence with.
We use phonics tracker to assess the children to see where the gaps in their learning are. We then use this to inform our teaching. We can choose specific books for guided reading to practice the sounds or tricky words that the children are struggling with. We can also send homework from phonics tracker to support the children in developing confidence with the sounds and tricky words that they find difficult.
The additional videos may also be useful to watch:
Understanding phonics

10 things to think about when you read to your child 

Why read to your child 

How to say the sounds 

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