Phonics at Carden

Phonics at Carden is taught over 6 phases from Nursery, throughout Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2.

In Nursery, Phase 1 focuses on developing speaking and listening skills and getting children attuned to sounds. It is divided up into seven aspects. Environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion, rhythms and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and oral blending. Phase 1 is the foundation for learning phonics and continues into Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Phases 2, 3 and 4 are introduced in Reception. Children are taught the phoneme (sound) and the grapheme (how the letter is written) through a variety of interactive, teacher led and small group activities. We use cued articulation (signing) to support our kinaesthetic approach to the learning of phonics. In Reception, children will be taught the letters of the alphabet, diagraphs (oi, ow etc) and trigraphs (igh, ure, air etc.) Almost immediately children are using the letter sounds taught to blend and read, and to write words.

In Key Stage 1, Phases 5 and 6 are taught. Children are taught alternate graphemes (ways the sound can be recorded.) For example oi/oy. Split diagraphs are introduced, like i-e in time and a-e in same. Prefixes and suffixes are also taught.

High frequency words, which cannot be blended to read and write, are introduced from phase 2. Children are taught to recognise and spell them.

We do not use a published phonics scheme, however we do used Cued Articulation which is a set of hand cues devised by Jane Passy, an internationally renowned speech therapist, for teaching the individual sounds in a word. The hand movements are logical – each hand movement represents one sound and the cue gives clues as to how and where  the sound is produced.