Phonics at Chartridge
Success For All Phonics - FFT
At Chartridge Combined School we use FFT "Success for All" Phonics to teach phonics across EYFS, KS1 and beyond where needed. Success for All Phonics is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme backed by 20 years’ evidence-based research and practice. It meets all the requirements of the National Curriculum and the EYFS framework and has been validated by the DfE.
Chartridge Combined School aims to ensure that all children become successful, confident readers by the end of Key Stage one and believe this is achievable through a combination of strong, high quality, discrete phonics teaching combined with a whole language approach that promotes a ‘Love of reading’ culture. This curriculum is aimed at reinforcing a consistent, high quality approach to the teaching and learning of phonics across the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Key Stage One and on into Key Stage Two for children who still need this further support.
What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch. Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to read the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”. This skill can then be inverted so that words can be broken down (segmented) into their component sounds in order to spell them.
Phonics at Chartridge Combined School:
The FFT Phonics programme is designed for daily use from the beginning of EYFS, enabling children to make a smooth transition from Reception to Key Stage 1. Children have a daily 25-minute phonics session and a daily 30-minute shared reader session. Each phonics session consists of reviewing previously learnt sounds (GPCs) and then teaching, practising and applying a new sound(s). The programme addresses both encoding and decoding skills. Decoding is the reading aspect of literacy and encoding is the spelling aspect. Both processes work together.
The children are grouped by ability to ensure that they are taught at the most appropriate level for them. This maximises progress because the level of challenge for each child is appropriate, neither too great nor too small, enabling them to progress successfully in developing their skills. Children’s skills within a group will be similar, so it is easier for the teacher to ensure that any skills gaps are addressed. To ensure that every child is in the most appropriate teaching group, children are assessed and regrouped at least every half term.
Shared Reading Lessons
It is important that children do not simply know their phonics, but they can apply this skill to reading. Therefore, as part of our FFT "Success for All" we have a daily reading session, based on the phonic skills the children have been taught. Using fully decodable texts children are given further opportunities to use these skills and teachers model how to use this knowledge to support their reading.
This application is also seen within English lessons and the wider curriculum.
Supporting your child at home:
In our early phonics sessions, we practise the letters of the alphabet, their order and the sounds they make. The images on our alphabet strip help us to remember the formation and also the sounds each written letter makes.
We teach the children their sounds by using Phonics Phrases to help them remember the sound each letter makes and letter formation cues to help them remember how to form each letter when writing it. For example, for the GPC /s/ we say ‘The snake slides and slithers’ to help us remember the sound of the letter and we say ‘Left around, right around, from head to tail’ when writing the letter.
There is a dedicated online Parent Portal (parents.fft.org.uk) which provides access to a growing range of materials to support phonics and reading at home. This includes all the alliterative phrases and writing cues that are mentioned above, videos containing the proper pronunciation of all the Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs) taught in the programme and it gives access to a full digital library of our Shared Readers, along with read-aloud videos of each book to support home reading. There are also lots of tips for home reading. To access all these resources please login using the passcode for our school.
Your child will bring home a decodable reading book every day in their book bag, alongside a reading record. Children should be reading to an adult at home daily. When reading please focus first on the inside front cover and read the red and green words with your child before moving on to read their book. The red words are not decodable for your child, they will have been taught these words within their phonics lessons. The questions within the book are also fully decodable so encourage your child to read and answer these. You can of course ask your own questions too! Please record every time you read with your child in their reading record.
If children are to become lifelong readers, it is essential that they are encouraged to read for pleasure. The desire of wanting to read will help with the skill of reading. To help foster a love of reading, children will take a library book home each week that they can share and enjoy with you. You should not expect your child to read this book independently and certainly should not try to get your child to do so. This book is for you to read to or with your child and enjoy together. Please also share and read together other books of yours or their choice. Reading a range of material across a week, fiction and non-fiction, will expose your child to a range of vocabulary. It will provide them with a deep understanding about their world and fill their brain with background knowledge and stimulate their imagination. It is crucial to your child's development and understanding of language and how words work together. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word.