Phonics at St. Helen’s
The children in Key Stage One at St. Helen’s receive rigorous and systematic phonics teaching each day following the Letters & Sounds programme. Daily sessions take into account the needs of all children ensuring that sessions target children’s current needs. In Key Stage Two the school follows the Decision Spelling programme – a rigorous phonics based and dyslexia friendly approach to the teaching of spelling.
When children join the school in Reception, parents are invited to a workshop that provides information on the teaching of phonics and strategies that they can use at home to support their child. This forms part of the new parents induction programme offered by the school.
Whilst the school values the importance of phonics as a reading strategy, we also acknowledge that this is not the only strategy that should be taught. We believe the teaching of reading should be undertaken in a holistic manner that embraces a wide range of strategies including the use of picture cues, inference and deduction and comprehension skills.
The school aims for the daily phonic sessions to:
- Be taught discreetly on a daily basis;
- Use a multi sensory approach so that children learn from a range of activities;
- Support both spelling and reading and allow children to have opportunities to read texts and spell words at their level;
- Ensure that children have opportunities to apply their phonic knowledge;
- Build in regular opportunities to assess the children’s knowledge and move their learning forward;
- Teach new high frequency words in the context of a sentence.
All sessions have a three part structure that aims to:
1) Recap on the learning from the day before.
2) Introduce and practice new skills.
3) Apply the new skills learnt in a suitable context.
The following download is a Power point presentation about phonics.