At The Milford Academy, early reading is taught using synthetic phonics as the main approach. Children are systematically taught the 42 phonemes (sounds), using a multi- sensory approach. There are daily phonic sessions where the children are encouraged to blend the sounds for reading and segment the sounds for writing. The school uses the principles and phases of the government’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme, and children are taught:

  • the grapheme-phoneme correspondence in a clearly defined sequence
  • the skill of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell
  • that blending and segmenting are reversible processes

For further information about learning through phonics visit the Department for Education website.

Additionally, children are gradually taught the high frequency ‘tricky’ words – those which are not phonetically regular. By combining these elements, children have the tools and skills to be able to write independently at an early age and are given lots of opportunities to apply their phonic skills throughout a rich and varied curriculum.

When the children have mastered this ‘Basic Code’ (one way of writing each of the 42 sounds) we continue to teach some of the alternative graphemes (spelling choices) used to represent the sounds(the ‘Extended Code’). Children learn to select the most appropriate grapheme using the ‘best bet’ strategy. We continue to teach the ‘tricky’ words and also introduce key spelling strategies. Phonics is assessed regularly to monitor progress towards the Year 1 Phonics check in June.

The Phonics Screening Check

The phonics screening check is a short assessment carried out with all Year 1 children on an individual basis in the Summer Term.  The aim is to identify whether or not the children have met the expected level of phonic knowledge and skills in blending.

Parents will be informed as to whether or not their child has met the expected level.

Children who have not met the expected level will retake the phonics screening check in Year 2 & throughout KS2 if necessary.  Every effort is taken to identify children who are struggling to meet the expected level or who need additional support.  The Pupil Premium funding is used to support children eligible through interventions.

To find out more see the link below.

Helpful Resources

Phonics Made Easy

The Alphablocks Guide to Phonics (BBC Website)

Preparation for the Phonics Screening Check

The Phonics Screening Check for Y2 December 2020

Please see link for information on the phonics screening check for current Y2’s to be administered December 2020.

Overview of phonics progression and National Curriculum Requirements for Year 1 & 2

If you have any questions please come in and speak to us!

Mrs Heiden