At Hadlow Primary School we follow the FFT Success for All Phonics Programme. Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught how to recognise the sounds each individual letter makes and to identify the sounds that different contributions of letters make such as ‘sh’ and ‘oo’. Children are taught to read by breaking down words into separate sounds or ‘phonemes’. They are then taught how to blend these sounds together to read the whole word.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way, starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to more complex sounds, it is the most effective way of teaching children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 4‐7. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go onto read any kind of text fluently and confidently and for enjoyment.
In EYFS and KS1 we teach Phonics daily for 30 minutes followed by a Shared Reading lesson lasting between 15 and 30 minutes. Once the children are secure with their Phonics (in Year 2 and beyond) the children move on to a spelling focus, which is also taught for 20 minutes a day across the school.
What is the Intent of the Phonics Curriculum?
At Hadlow Primary School we are committed to providing great reading provision and developing pupils’ proficiency in, and love of, reading. We ensure that all children have the skills, knowledge and understanding to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that high-quality phonics teaching improves literacy levels and gives all children a solid base on which to build and develop their reading habits so that they read widely and often for reading and information. Through daily, systematic and consistent high-quality phonics teaching, children learn to blend and segment words for reading and spelling. To allow our children to develop a strong phonic awareness and effective blending, decoding and comprehension skills, we have chosen to use a DfE Validated synthetic phonics programme (SSP) called FFT Success for All Phonics from FFT. The programme supports our intentions to teach children to read and write independently so that they are able to access a broad and exciting curriculum and flourish as learners throughout their time at our school.
Reading is at the heart of curriculum; once children know how to read this skill is transferrable in all subjects. Teaching children to read opens up their world. Reading provides an escape; children can use their imagination to go anywhere. There is also no discrimination; reading breaks down barriers. All teachers should have a love for reading and this passion should be clear when considering lessons, environments, engaging book corners. Bearing in mind our local community, the phonics curriculum supports children with communication and language needs, helping them to close the vocabulary gap. Teaching children to read helps them to acquire vocabulary, therefore setting them up for life. The main goal is for all children to leave key stage one being able to read and decode and read sight words, in order for them to be able to access all areas of curriculum.
Implementation of the Phonics Curriculum
We maintain fidelity in the implementation of our phonics teaching by using FFT Success for All Phonics which allows the children to learn phonics through a highly structured programme of daily lessons across FS/KS1, using a variety of fun activities in multi-sensory and systematic ways. Each session gives an opportunity for children to revisit their previous experience, be taught new skills, practice together and apply what they have learned and celebrate their achievements.
It follows the teaching principles of:
• Revisit and Review
• Teach and Model
• Practise and Apply
• Celebrate Achievement and Assess
Time is incorporated to allow for consolidation so that children can secure their skills, knowledge and understanding.
The programme is underpinned by a set of seven core principles designed to support all teachers and children.
• Systematic Progression
• Regular Assessment
• Early Intervention
• Multisensory Approach
• Co-operative Learning
• Application of Skills
• Reduced Workload and Collegiate Approach
Reading materials have been designed to support rapid and sustained progress and are well-matched to the scope and sequence of the programme. A comprehensive set of 68 decodable shared readers is provided by the programme and additional materials that a school already has that match the sequence can be used to supplement early reading.
The FFT Success for All Phonics Scope and Sequence (see below) is set out clearly and provides detailed guidance and support for teachers to plan and deliver high quality lessons. A synthetic approach to teaching ‘pure sounds’ and the skills of segmenting and blending are incorporated into the teaching and learning materials. Lessons are planned so that children build on their skills sequentially and systematically and can be adapted and modified to meet the needs of the children accordingly.
What is the Impact of the Phonics Curriculum?
- Children will make progress from their own individual starting points and through the different phases of phonics in line with the year group expectations.
- Children will become confident and resilient in reading green words (words that can be sounded out) and red words (tricky words that cannot be sounded out) and also in tackling unfamiliar words by applying learnt knowledge and skills to segment, blend and read words which are real and nonsense.
- Children will demonstrate high levels of engagement in phonics and will apply their phonological knowledge when reading and writing and use the working walls to assist them when needed but become increasingly independent in this process.
- Children will have an increased recognition of tricky words and high frequency words when reading and apply these when writing.
- Children with SEND will develop phonic skills and knowledge and they will develop their ability to apply this across the curriculum which will help to prepare them for the next stage in their education.
Phonics in Apple Class (EYFS)
Shared Reader Lessons in Apple Class (EYFS)
Phonics in Plum Class (Year 1)
Shared Reader Lessons in Plum Class (Year 1)
Phonics intervention in Cherry Class (Year 2)- Tutoring with the Lightning Squad
Phonics Interventions in Key Stage 2- Tutoring with the Lightening Squad