Piddle Valley CE First School
Our Literacy Curriculum
At Piddle Valley CE First School, Letters and Sounds is used to structure the teaching of Phonics from Pre-School to Year 2, supplemented with teaching resources from other schemes.
Letters and Sounds
Letters and Sounds is carefully structured in six phases to teach children the phonic knowledge (the alphabetic principle) and skills (blending and segmenting) they need in order to decode effortlessly and fluently. A daily teaching sequence supports the process of consolidating existing teaming, acquiring new learning, and applying that learning to fully decodable texts of increasing length. The phonic phases build phonic knowledge incrementally from the simple to the more complex, and include the teaching of high frequency 'tricky' words that are not totally phonically regular. These are introduced in alignment with each phase according to their phonic components to build confidence and independence in reading and spelling. An indispensable component of each day's discrete session is the 'Apply' section of the teaching sequence, where the teacher demonstrates how new learning can be applied through reading and writing captions, instructions, questions and phoneme spotter stories. This ensures that children are consistently practicing their developing phonic skills and knowledge at the point of learning. Experiencing early, rapid and sustained success helps children to see the relevance of phonics to reading and spelling, reinforcing each day that the purpose of phonics is to enable them to become independent readers and writers.
Our children are taught the grapheme-phoneme correspondences in from the simple alphabetic code to phonemes with alternative graphemes. For each phoneme, children are taught to ‘say it’, ‘read it’, ‘write it’, using child friendly mnemonics and visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities.
Speed Sounds Cards with mnemonics are used to introduce the children to new GPCs and to review and revisit previously taught GPCs.
Children learn to decode words by identifying the graphemes and blending the phonemes, through the word. Reception children learn the relationship between phonemes and graphemes, practice word blending with magnetic letters, moving onto reading the school reading scheme books which are matched to phonic ability.
beyond Year 1, the children review and learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences and apply their increased phonic knowledge to reading the Storybooks and carrying out writing activities as part of Guided Reading sessions and follow-up activities.
Children learn to spell words by segmenting them into phonemes. They learn this is the opposite of blending. Children learn high frequency words from the earliest stages and how to use knowledge of grapheme-phoneme correspondences as a first approach to words which are not completely phonically regular.
Literacy skills are essential skills for life. The teaching of literacy is based on the guidance set out in the new 2014 National Curriculum. As children move through the schools they read, analyse and recreate their own writing for different purposes. Where possible these sessions are taught through a topic approach which provides and engaging and purposeful context.
A range of stimuli are used to capture imaginations and to provide a first-hand experience from which to draw upon. Our children benefit from a range of visitors, drama teachers, performers and trips. Children are supported to understand the structural requirements for e.g. report writing, instructions, narrative and poetry but we aim for our children to leave our school with a love for books, reading and writing to enable them to face the challenges of further education and adult life.