What is Phonics?
Phonics is a strategy for reading that helps children to learn to read quickly and skilfully. During these lessons children are taught to recognise the sounds that each letter of the alphabet makes and to identify sounds made by different combinations of letters. Children then apply this knowledge to help them decode words in a sentence. For example children learn the sounds, not letter names, of the following letters a….n….t. They then learn how to blend these sounds to form the word “ant?. Each of the sounds that the children learn are called phonemes and there are 44 altogether.
Phonics at Richard Atkins
At Richard Atkins we use phonics programme Read Write Inc. Read Write Inc is a literacy programme developed by Ruth Miskin. Children are taught the sounds and the letter that represents them and how to form them using special rhymes for each one. They move on to reading words and then books using only the letters they have learnt. This builds children’s confidence in reading. For more information and video support for parents visit:
The programme is divided into 3 sets of learning, teaching sounds in a certain order:
- Lessons are divided into smaller sections consisting of new learning, revision, and application of new learning.
- All children are assessed at different points throughout the year to see how much they know. They are then put into small groups.
- The set and the group children are put in will depend on what sounds they know.
- Groups are taught by a teacher or teaching assistant.
Phonics in EYFS
Phonics lessons are taught 4 days a week for 30 minutes. These lessons consist of a short, fast paced carpet session which introduces children to a new sound and allows children to practice reading and then writing their new sound. At tables children practice writing the sound in their books. They then hear Fred the frog say the sound in some simple words and practice segmenting and blending these before practicing reading green words. Finally children will use Fred fingers to practice spelling words with these sounds. Phonics strategies are also referred to throughout the school day in incidental learning opportunities.
Phonics in Year 1
Phonics lessons are taught 4 or 5 times a week for 30 minutes. These are similar to that taught in the early years though some of the sessions in year 1 will finish with a reading activity. The knowledge and strategies learned in these sessions are revisited regularly throughout the school day during reading and writing activities.
Phonics in Year 2
Phonics lessons are taught 4 or 5 times a week for 30 minutes. These are similar to that taught in the early years though most of the sessions in year 2 will finish with a reading and comprehension activity. The knowledge and strategies learned in these sessions are revisited regularly throughout the school day during reading and writing activities.