Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Reading and Phonics

Storytime Phonics

At Oasis Academy Marksbury Road we follow the wonderful ‘Storytime Phonics’ programme. Storytime Phonics is a multi-sensory, engaging and dynamic approach to teaching and learning phonics, based on the Letters and Sounds DfE Framework.

Children begin the Storytime Phonics programme at the start of Reception year after the baseline assessments are complete, and continue across Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2). Every child between Reception and Year 2 has a 15-30 minute phonics session every morning.

The Storytime Phonics programme is separated into six Phases - your child's teacher will be able to tell you which Phase your child is currently working on. If you require any further support, please come into school and speak with our Phonics Leader, Miss Parsons.

There are 26 letters in the alphabet, but they make 44 different sounds. These sounds are known as ‘phonemes’. We are often asked how each phoneme is pronounced. The link below will take you to the Oxford Owl Phonics tool which will enable you to hear the pronunciation of each sound. (hyperlink - https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/phonics-made-easy/#audio)

Each of these phonemes is introduced through a popular child’s fiction book to contextualise the sounds children are learning – for example the phoneme ‘p’ is taught through the book ‘Pirate Pete’ by Nick Sharratt. We have a special character called ‘The Phonics Fairy’ who delivers the special books to us in a lovely bag sprinkled with her fairy glitter. We take our learning all around the school; from searching for ‘sharks in the park’ in our outdoor area when learning ‘ar’, to riding a train in the playground to learn the ‘oi’ phoneme. We also have a ‘Tricky Troll’ who tries to trick the children with ‘tricky words’, which are words that can’t be read using our phonics (e.g. ‘The’ and ‘I’).

We understand that the terminology we use when teaching phonics can be quite confusing! We hope the following glossary is useful to you. Always feel free to come in and talk to us if you require any further support, and please make sure to attend the phonics workshops for your child’s year group.

 blending

Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.

 digraph

 A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.

grapheme

A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.

Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.

 phoneme

 A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.

 segmenting

 Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.

 split digraph

 A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.

 

There are six different phases used in this scheme which the academy follows:

Phase Phonic Knowledge and Skills
One (Nursery/Reception)   Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Five (Throughout Year 1) Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond)  Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.