Phonics and Spelling at St Margaret's
At St Margaret's we believe one of the most fundamental ways children learn to read and spell accurately is through the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics.
The children at St Margaret's are taught phonics through the guidelines set out in the 2014 National Curriculum. This is supported through the Letters and Sounds programme. This begins in Reception and is assisted by the multi-sensory approach of Jolly Phonics which enables the children to use actions to remember different phonic sounds. The letters and sounds programme follows a 'Revisit, Teach, Practise and Apply' model which enables children to become familiar with different sounds over a period of time. Children in KS1 will also learn spelling patterns and high frequency words alongside phonics as set out in the National Curriculum. Once phase 5 of the Letters and Sounds Programme is complete the children will develop their knowledge and understanding of spelling patterns and rules whilst continuing to revisit their phonic skills.
Phonic and spelling sessions are delivered on a daily basis and are differentiated to meet the needs of each individual child. In Recepion and Year 1 children work alongside others of a similar ability for phonic sessions. In Year 2-6 spelling is taught as part of the English session. Phonics and spelling is a skill that is revisted in all areas of the curriculum and one the school places great importance on.
How can you help your child?
The strategies the children now use to read may have changed since you learnt to read. It is important that you pronounce the sounds in the same way at home as we do at school. Watch the video below if you are unsure how to pronounce some of the sounds the children are reading.
This video will show you the Jolly Phonics actions the children learn for some of the sounds. If your child becomes stuck on a sound in their reading book, using the action may be a useful prompt for them.
Writing at St Margaret's
At St Margaret's we believe writing is an essential skill not only for further learning but in later life. We aim to ensure all children reach their full potential in writing, enabling them to become confident, fluent and imaginative writers.
At St Margaret's writing is taught in many different ways from the moment a child begins in Reception. Teachers follow the 2014 National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum in order to plan exciting and engaging English lessons where the skill of writing is specifically taught. This happens every day and time to rehearse writing skills is provided in other areas of the curriculum. The children are taught in units, meaning they will look at a particular genre of writing i.e. narrative (story writing) over a period of 2-3 weeks. This enables children to fully immerse themselves in the techniques needed for each type of writing. During this time the children will be given several opportunities to write in the given style. This process is detailed in greater depth in the school's English policy.
Homework for English is given weekly across the school. This often takes the form of writing. You can support your child by helping them with this writing. Others ways to promote writing in the home could involve:
- Writing shopping lists together
- Encourgaing your child to write their own blog through the schools learning platform DB Primary
- Writing diaries during the holidays
- Creating a 'family' story
- Reading together - Good readers help make good writers