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Here at Garvestone phonics is predominantly taught using the Letters and Sounds Framework set out by the DfE. From the Letters and Sounds framework daily half an hour sessions and taught using a wealth of resources and activities devised to meet the needs of the children where they are in their current stage of learning. Each session generally follows the following format:

Revisit and review –  all GPCs/words learnt so far
Learn – new phoneme/grapheme, words or rule
Practise – explore new learning
Apply – use new learning in writing or reading of a sentence

Phase 1

Children explore sounds and words and develop awareness of rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They learn how to orally blend sounds and distinguish different sounds in words. This can be through conversation, nursery rhymes, stories and games. Phase 1 is mostly taught in the early days of Reception.

Phase 2

Children continue with exploring rhymes and alliteration and are introduced to 23 letters and corresponding sounds.  They begin to read and spell simple CVC words as well as high frequency words. Children are introduced to the Collins Big Cat Phonics reading books, as well as daily story telling sessions.

Phase 3

Children learn one grapheme for a further 25 phonemes. These include consonant and vowel digraphs (e.g. ch, ng, ai, oa) and trigraphs (e.g. igh, air). They continue to build up their knowledge of high frequency words for reading and spelling. Throughout Phase 3,4 and 5 children will also be using ‘alien’ words (nonsense words), this is good practise for segmenting and blending sounds and will prepare Year 1 children for the phonics screening.

Phase 4

Children read and spell words containing consonant clusters. These are two or more consonants together e.g. cl  dr  sk  mp  nd. Words containing these are known as CCVC and CVCC words. e.g. black, strip, chest). Towards the end of Phase 4 they will also begin to work with compound words such as lunchbox, pondweed and handstand.

Phase 5

Children entering Phase 5 should already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and flask. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words. In Phase 5, children will learn alternative graphemes and phonemes. For example, they already know ai as in rain, but now they will be introduced to ay as in day and a-e as in make. Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will also be introduced, e.g. ea in tea, head and break. For this we use phoneme spotter stories.

Phase 6

Children can apply their phonic skills and knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of words. They will investigate and learn to add suffixes (eg; ing, ed, er, ly, ness) to words and to spell words in the past, present and present continuous tense as well as the rules regarding regular and irregular verbs. They also look at superlative adjectives, comparative adjectives contracted words and plurals.