EYFS Early Reading
Teaching children to read is an essential part of their learning. Reading is a skill that helps to develop vocabulary and improve understanding of words. In synthetic phonics lessons, children learn the relationship between letters and sounds. Teaching them to recognise the sounds each letter makes and how to put them together, enables them to read. It also helps with spelling as they learn how to break up words into sounds, in order to spell them.
At Oxon, phonics work is based on a validated systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme called ‘Twinkl Phonics’. It is used daily in the Early Years Foundation Stage and is the first approach pupils use to help them with their reading. Quality teaching of phonics is seen as essential, with the children being carefully monitored to ensure they are progressing appropriately. ‘Rhino Readers’ books are used alongside the ‘Twinkl Phonics’ programme for pupils to develop their phonic skills, and to foster a love of reading for pleasure and with confidence across a range of genres. ‘Rhino Readers’ books and other resources are sent home in bookbags. These materials are regularly reviewed to ensure they are well-matched to the child’s phonic development.
In Reception, we cover Levels 2, 3 and 4 of the Twinkl Programme.
The purpose of Level 2 is to:
- Teach the first 19 most commonly used letters and the sounds they make.
- Move children on from oral blending and segmenting to blending and segmenting with letters.
- Introduce some tricky words (common exception words) for reading.
The purpose of Level 3 is to:
- Introduce another 25 graphemes, including consonant digraphs, vowel digraphs and trigraphs so that children can represent 42 phonemes with a grapheme.
- Continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation.
- Apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions.
The purpose of Level 4 is to:
- Consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words, especially digraphs and trigraphs.
- Introduce words with adjacent consonants - CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC, CVCCC, CCCVCC, CCVCCC.
- Learn polysyllabic words and learn to read and spell some more tricky words (common exception words).
Parental involvement is key in the acquisition of phonics. A phonics workshop for Reception parents is held early in the autumn term. During this session, we share information on techniques, such as saying pure sounds and blending. We also share support resources regularly, such as the parent information sheets, as these can help ensure that parents and carers are using the same strategies at home as the children are learning in school.