At Leighton Academy we are committed to the delivery of excellence in the teaching of phonics. Our aim is to provide our pupils with the strategies, tools and knowledge to read with fluency and confidence. This is combined with fostering a love of reading and writing as they progress through life.
We aim to teach pupils to read effectively and quickly using a range of strategies and primarily use the Floppy’s Phonics teaching programme. This includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words, as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. In addition to this, it also creates an interactive platform for discussion and comprehension around texts.
This structure of teaching uses the phonic phases that are outlined in the ‘letters and sounds’ programme in 5 stages, each with new phonemes to be learnt and increasing with difficulty as you progress through the levels.
We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently and as quickly as possible applying their skills and knowledge, showing perseverance and resilience to read and understand tricky words and texts. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact upon the children’s self esteem and future life chances.
Using the Floppy phonics programme we teach pupils to:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- Develop resilience and perseverance using their phonic skills to spot new sounds that can be applied to new and unfamiliar words.
- To develop a lifelong love of reading for pleasure and as a tool to acquire knowledge and understanding.
- To apply their phonic knowledge in both their reading and writing, accurately and coherently.
At Leighton Academy, we recognise that reading and writing are essential life skills and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become enthused, engaged and successful lifelong readers and writers. To support this we follow the structure of the Floppy’s phonics scheme.
The Floppy’s Phonics programme teaches the letter/s-sound correspondences of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading and spelling. It includes the characters of Floppy the dog, Biff, Chip and Kipper and their family and friends, which engages children fully for the phonics teaching & learning, vocabulary enrichment and language comprehension.
Initially children's listening skills are developed through the use of music, environmental sounds and rhyme. During their journey in nursery and through the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 they are taught the 44 phonemes (sounds) that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter 'b as in bed' and those that are made by two 'ai as in rain or three letters 'igh as in high'.
Pupils are taught the key skills of blending sounds together for reading and segmenting (breaking up) words for spelling.
As the pupils grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, eg 'ee' can be represented as 'ee, as in bee', 'ea as in tea', 'e-e as in theme' and 'e as in we'. They also learn when to apply simple spelling rules and use verbs in the correct tense.
We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable. Starting in Early Years and progressing to Year 2, pupils have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they are introduced to new phonemes, explore, practise and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.
We use a range of multisensory strategies to engage pupils, including the use of interactive whiteboards, grapheme tiles/ cards, speaking and listening games, wipeboards and practical activities. Pupils work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge in all of their learning.
By the time pupils leave Key Stage 1 and progress into Key Stage 2, they have a good understanding of the alphabetic code and have become confident resourceful readers and writers who reflect upon their learning. Pupils have experienced a wide variety of texts, both from their own individual reading as well as those shared with the class. As a result, pupils have a thirst for reading for many purposes and are able to participate in discussions, ask probing questions and apply their skills across the curriculum.
Throughout the teaching of Floppy’s phonics we are able to measure their attainment after each stage and provide pupils with correct additional support to help embed their learning and provide them with the next stage of challenge. In addition, we are able to see the impact of this programme with their progress in the Year One phonics screening check. We are able to use all this to make sure that the teaching of good synthetic phonics continues to follow those pupils that need it throughout their primary education.