English and literacy teaching at Belmont is based on the conceptual model of the Simple View of Reading of which phonics is part of the word recognition aspect.
At Belmont Academy the Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics (DCSF, 2007), the 2012 EYFS Framework and the 2014 NC PoS are used to plan and deliver the required pace and progression for phonics teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
Letters and Sounds is a synthetic phonics programme and is taught as the first (and fastest) step to decoding and encoding for most children. Synthetic phonics is as the term suggests mainly about learning to synthesise (blend) the graphemes (letter or letters) in the order in which they occur to pronounce a word; segment speech sounds (phonemes) in order in a word and select graphemes to represent them to spell the word.
Phonics teaching at Belmont:
- is time limited aiming to secure fluent word recognition skills for reading and increasingly phonemically more plausible spellings for writing
- is taught explicitly through daily phonics sessions
- has high expectations for all children’s attainment
- teach letters and sounds using RML resources
- It is fully recognised that children need a full repertoire of literacy and literary experiences including the development of speaking and listening skills to become:
- fluent readers who read for information and pleasure
- confident writers who write appropriate to audience and purpose
In Reception the programme uses 30 minute daily discrete phonics teaching sessions as a key vehicle to teach skills and knowledge. Guided and independent reading and writing must be in place in class, allowing opportunities for children to consolidate and apply learning from the discrete session.
Pupils in KS1 are set according to the phase they are working within. These groups are assessed regularly and pupils are progressed with an aim of meeting age-related expectations by the end of the year.
In Year Two, where the majority of pupils should be working at Phase 6, daily phonics sessions should be planned and taught in differentiated groups as necessary. Guided and independent reading & writing will also be in place to support application of learning.