The teaching of phonics is an integral part of the curriculum at Cannon Park because it enables children to decode for reading and understanding as well as encode for writing.
Bug Club Phonics – Structured Synthetic Phonics Program
At Cannon Park, we use Phonics Bug which is an interactive systematic synthetic phonics scheme for reading and spelling, we use it as a tool to help us achieve the best outcomes and is based on Letters and Sounds. Children are taught the phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. As the children grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternate ways of representing the same sound (grapheme correspondence), e.g. ‘ee’ can be represented as ‘ee’, ‘ea’, ‘e-e’, ‘e’.
We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured, multisensory and enjoyable. Children in Reception, Year 1 and some Year 2 pupils have discrete, daily phonics sessions, with the following structure:
Bug Club Phonics teaches a new grapheme and related phoneme in every Phoneme Session. This fast pace, backed up by daily revision of past teaching, has proved the most effective and successful method of phonic teaching to young children. This means that the basic 40+ phonemes are acquired quickly, and early reading skills develop rapidly. Decodable reading books are introduced after just 10 days’. This enables children to apply the taught strategies and enjoy contextualised reading early on at home and at school.
Staff use our Cannon Park Speedy Sounds resource cards, complete with rhymes and actions, to teach correct letter formation and the correct phoneme-grapheme correspondence. High frequency words and common exception words are taught discretely, and referenced during phonics sessions and throughout the day. Correct pencil grip is an expectation during the daily phonics and letter formation is taught alongside phonics. Phonics support is accessible and displayed in each classroom for the children to refer to independently.
Staff operate additional target group interventions for children, who need additional support and to close gaps in learning throughout the week. Children in Year 2, who did not meet the required standard in the Year 1 Phonics Screen Test and need more work on decoding and word reading skills, will have opportunities to practise this daily. Children in Year 3, who need further phonic support, will do so through targeted interventions.
Assessments are ongoing and half termly reviews are carried out (EYFS and Y1) to identify and close any gaps in learning. Throughout the year, Year 1 and some Year 2 children will undertake practice Phonics Screening checks to ensure they are making expected progress.
At the end of Year 1 nationally, children’s phonological skills will be tested, by getting them to read real and pseudo words, and given a pass or fail mark. Children in Year 2 who did not meet the required standard and need more work on decoding and word reading skills, will have opportunities to practice this through daily phonics sessions. Children in Year 3 or older who need further phonic intervention will do so through targeted interventions.