Unlocking Letters and Sounds
At Newbold and Tredington, we use the Unlocking Letters and Sounds scheme which was validated by the DfE in December 2021.
We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children
make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main
sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented, as well as
learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds
to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception
being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.
In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, they learn any alternative spellings and
pronunciations for the graphemes and additional Common Exception Words. By the
end of Year 1 children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when
reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the
national Phonics Screening Check.
In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code
and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive
support to close identified gaps.
To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly
assessed and supported to keep up. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have an impact.
We promote a 'phonics first' approach and books read by the children are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can
experience real success in their reading. In these crucial early stages of reading we primarily use books from Ransom Reading Stars Phonics to ensure complete fidelity to the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression we follow.
Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our book scheme
so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension
skills to become avid, expert readers.
As a school, we wholeheartedly encourage reading for pleasure. Alongside their phonics book, children will bring home a library book once a week that peaks their interest. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator for success in life, more than family circumstances, educational background, or income (Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development). Events such as World Book Day support this. We help individuals to choose suitable books that will hold their interest and widen the range of genres and authors on offer by regularly updating our library with books from new and award-winning authors. If you would like to donate a book to our library collection, please use this link to see our wish list (which is updated regularly): https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/1Q49VI4BPCF4M/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1?_encoding=UTF8&type=wishlist