“St. Michael’s Church of England School, established upon Christian foundations, and living out the Christian faith, is committed to providing every child with an excellent education.”

We promote our Vision through the key words:

‘Create – Equip – Partner’

Phonics in EYFS & the Transition to Year 1 Phonics

At St Michael’s we know that the teaching of phonics is an important step towards a lifelong love of reading and helping children to develop proficient literacy skills.

Phonics teaching involves teaching children the sounds of letters (not the letter names) and how these sounds can be blended together to make words. E.g. the word ‘mop’ is a decodable word because the letter sounds can be blended together.

m– o – p→ mop

We teach phonics using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document. This is organised into six phonic phases through which a child progresses. Phases 1 – 3 are taught in Reception, phase 4 and 5 in Year 1 and phase 6 in Year 2.

Each phonics lesson is delivered with the use of visual, auditory and physical movements to help the children learn new sounds and skills. Jolly Phonics actions and songs are used to help teach phonics especially at phase 1, 2 & 3. The children thoroughly enjoy learning new sounds and actions. http://myjollyphonics.co.uk/what-is-phonics/

Phase 1  Children learn rhymes, keep rhythms and start to relate letter sounds to words, e.g. b for bag.

Phase 2  Children learn initial letter sounds and build 3 letter words

Phase 3 Children learn all 44 phonemes and blend sounds to read words

Phase 4 Children blend consonants together to read difficult words, e.g. blue, grab.

Phase 5 Children learn how to spell letter sounds in more than one way, e.g. rain, day, make.

Phase 6 Children learn how to spell word-specific spellings, e.g. turned, beautiful, shopping.

The children have daily phonics teaching. The session is usually split into four sections:

  • Revisit & review the previous sound and word building.
  • Teach a new phonics skill.
  • Practice the new skill.
  • Apply in different situations, e.g. Reading in a sentence or writing the word in a sentence.

As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they put their new-found knowledge to use by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them and by writing simple words and sentences independently. Children then use these skills in their wider play and learning.

Reading in EYFS & the Transition to Year 1 Reading

Reading is fundamental to our school and our EYFS children. Pupil Voice is an important part of our school culture.  From the moment children enter our school we encourage the children to share their ideas and views in a constructive way. This is what our children think about reading:

This is what the Early Years children would like you to know about reading in EYFS

“We love reading in EYFS! It is the way we find out about our world! We enjoy stories together in our classroom every day. The teachers are vibrant and exciting story tellers. We re-tell stories, act out stories and make up our own stories. It is also where we start on our reading journey to become proficient and independent readers.”

“We learn to read in our phonic sessions. We take home books 3 times a week and read them to our grown-ups. Our teachers hear us read individually every week, we have special reading volunteers that hear us read – and we even have Nelson the pet therapy dog who hears us read. We have a beautiful book corner in our classroom where we can relax and listen to stories on headphones or play reading games with our friends. ”

“By the end of Reception Class we can read all by ourselves and move into Key Stage One where we get to read even more books!”

This is what the teachers would like you to know about reading in EYFS

The development of communication, literacy and reading skills are central to the learning environment. Children take home a reading book on their very first day of school and are provided with daily opportunities to develop reading and comprehension skills.

Parents are involved through listening to their children read at home and commenting in the reading record. Children are provided with take home reading books from a selection of schemes (Jelly and Bean, Oxford Reading Tree, Read Write Inc) The take-home reading books are matched carefully to the phonic skills of the child so that children make systematic progress in decoding and comprehension.

When the children move to Key Stage One, information about book reading levels and achievement are shared with their new teacher so that the children’s reading journey can continue!