At Milton Park, we follow the approach to phonics teaching as outlined in the North Somerset Learning Exchange’s 'PROGRAMME FOR PHONICS INTO EARLY SPELLING'. Children begin this programme in EYFS and continue it into the first part of Year 2 where it is superseded by the Spelling Programme. The Phonics Programme is a 9 step approach to the systematic teaching of phonics. The central principles involve:
- Children having knowledge of the alphabetic code;
- Children having the skill to blend to read;
- Children having the skill to segment to spell;
- Children understanding these as a reversible process.
The Phonics Programme links reading and writing to phonic knowledge and has been of great benefit for our children. The knowledge children acquire to support their development of early reading is equally as relevant for their development as a writer. It is important that children are given equal opportunities to practise and apply their phonics skills in writing and reading tasks so that they can understand the relationship between decoding skills for reading and encoding skills for spelling. These skills are underpinned by the modelling and teaching of good listening skills, combined with frequent opportunities to improve children’s visual and auditory memory and their ability to sequence. These skills are developed through the teaching of activities to promote phonological and phonemic awareness in young children before they embark on a systematic phonics program.