At Westhaven, we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme, supported by the use of Jolly Phonics kinaesthetic actions and stories for our younger pupils. In Lower School, one lesson a week is entirely phonics-focused and phonics and sounds are revised daily.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings we hold booster phonics sessions for all pupils. Pupils are taught in small groups according to their phonics ability. During these sessions, pupils engage in a variety of practical activities using materials such as paint, Playdoh, chalk and foam to reinforce their learning. For those pupils who are free readers and spellers, these sessions run as “Book Clubs”, where the emphasis is on comprehension and discussion of themes and characters. Spellings are set during these booster sessions based on the sound of the week. For the free reader groups, spellings are set according to the 2014 Curriculum SPaG Guidelines.
As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practice by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them from the Rigby Star Phonics, Dandelion and Jelly & Bean schemes. We have also introduced a range of high interest / low level phonics books aimed at our older pupils which are fantasy stories from the Totem, Talisman and Alba range from Phonic Books.
Phonics is used by all staff across all areas of the curriculum to reinforce learning in reading and spelling.