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Learning and Teaching

Phonics at Fountaindale

Phonics at Fountaindale is taught in classes through the Jolly Phonics Scheme. This is a validated scheme that teaches children to read and write using synthetic phonics, which is widely recognised as the most effective way to teach children to read and write in English.

Through using this approach we ensure all learning in our classrooms is:

  • Teaching is multi-sensory and active, with fun actions, stories and songs.
  • Continues to revise and extend children’s phonic knowledge throughout the school.
  • Flexible and easy to implement within classrooms and ensures families can support the work if their child is frequently hospitalised or hospitalised for a prolonged period.

How does the consistent and secure teaching of phonics be developed for learners with SEND? Jolly Phonics is a comprehensive programme, based on the proven, fun and multi-sensory synthetic phonics method that gets children reading and writing at the stage in development they may be at. This means that we teach letter sounds as opposed to the alphabet. These 42 letter sounds are phonic building blocks that children, with the right tools, use to decode the English language. When reading a word, they recognise the letters and blend together the respective sounds; when writing a word they identify the sounds and write down the corresponding letters. These skills are called blending and segmenting.

These are two of the five skills that children need to master phonics:

  1. Learning the letter sounds: Children are taught 42 letter sounds, which is a mix of alphabet sounds (1 sound – 1 letter) and digraphs (1 sound – 2 letters) such as sh, th, ai and ue. Using a multi-sensory approach each letter sound is introduced with fun actions, stories and songs. We teach the letter sounds in 7 groups of 6 letters at a pace of 4-5 sounds a week. Children can start reading after the first group of letters have been taught and should have been introduced to all the 42 letter sounds after 9 weeks at school.
  2. Learning letter formation: This is taught alongside the introduction of each letter sound. Typically, children will learn how to form and write the letters letter down during the course of the lesson.
  3. Blending: Once the first few letter sounds are learnt, children begin blending the sounds together to help them read and write new words.
  4. Segmenting: When children start reading words, they also need to start identifying the phonic components that make the word sound the way it does. By teaching blending and segmenting at the same time children become familiar with assembling and breaking down the sounds within words.
  5. Tricky words These are words with irregular parts, such as ‘who’ and ‘I’. Children learn these as exceptions to the rules of phonics. Introducing the common tricky words early in the year increases reading fluency (as they frequently occur in those first simple sentences you might expect them to read). Alongside these skills children are also introduced to the main alternative spelling of vowels. These five skills form the foundation that children build on with each year of grammar teaching.

Many children at Fountaindale have a range of different physical and sensory needs that impair their ability to learn at the pace that an atypical child would be expected to. Jolly Phonics offers them a basis programme in which to build a personalised phonics lesson that’s incorporates the range of communication aids that our children use. It also offers a stimulating offer to learning that ensures children with sensory needs have both their academic and sensory barriers directed impacted.

Jolly Phonics and Families. Families can access resources to use at home with their children to ensure the consistent and secure sounds are being delivered. Resources used in school are shared in the home environment and links such as those below are shared on a regular basis.

Resource Bank Archive — Jolly Learning


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Nottinghamshire, NG18 5BA

01623 792671