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  • St John Fisher Catholic Primary School
  • Alvechurch Road, West Heath, Birmingham
  • West Midlands, B31 3PN
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At St John Fisher, we recognise that phonics is a crucial skill in the journey of a child to become a lifelong reader; something that we wish for each child in our school. We are very proud of our systematic and effective phonic scheme within our school that helps children to acquire, rehearse and perfect the skills needed to be successful readers and writers. Our 'Fisher Phonics' is bespoke to our school, utilising the best practice from a number of approaches to form a progressive and successful phonics system for our children.

From Reception to Year 2, children take part in daily 10 minute phonic lessons with a systematic approach that all children can engage within. These lessons require all children to be active participants in their learning. Phonic lessons follow the structure of:

  • Synthesis (2 minutes): Combining individual phonemes or letter combinations to read words.

“Putting sounds together to read words is called synthesis and this helps us learn to read”   c>a>t = cat

  • Segmentation (2 minutes): Breaking words up into individual phonemes or letter combinations.     Cat = c>a>t

“Splitting sounds into words is called segmentation and this help you to write and spell”

  • Phonic Skills (2 minutes): Relating graphemes and phonemes to words they see in print.
  • Common Exception Words (2 minutes): Learning to read words by sight. Repeat after the teacher

Each child will learn the meaning of synthesis and segmentation and recite this to the teacher so that they understand the meaning of what they are learning. The teacher will differentiate the sounds to be taught that week three ways. All of the children will be exposed to each sound throughout the week so that children who perhaps need extra support, will have visited their sound prior, due it to it being another groups previous sound. This helps to embed the learning within the child due to the repetition of learning.

Every child in EYFS and KS1 will have their own sound boxes, enabling individuals to move at their own pace of learning and their progress to be carefully monitored. This also enables staff members to identify children who will need extra support or extra challenge to reach their utmost potential.

Our aim for a child’s phonic journey is:

Reception: Letters and Sounds Phase 2 and 3 delivered through daily discrete, multi-sensory sessions where the children both read and write; and as part of the continuous provision.

Year 1: Letter and Sounds Phase 4 and 5 delivered through daily, discrete, highly focussed teacher led sessions, with a focus on the application of writing.

Year 2: Letter and Sounds Phase 5 delivered through daily, discrete, highly focussed teacher led sessions, with a focus on the application of writing in context.

Year 3: and beyond: Children not reaching the expected levels of phonic knowledge by the end of year 2 i.e. phase 5, would continue to access dedicated phonic learning as required.

At St John Fisher, we are very proud of our children and our delivery of phonics. We have carefully matched our reading scheme to our phonics system ensuring a coherent approach to early reading in school and at home.

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