At Discovery Academy children from Nursery to Year 1 engage in phonics activities daily, at a level appropriate for them. This is our primary method for teaching the children how to read and write.

In Nursery, phonics sessions are less formal as children are encouraged to explore and experiment with sounds. This involves lots of games, noisy play and learning songs and nursery rhymes. In Reception and KS1, phonics is taught in a structured session in which children revisit sounds they already know, learn new sounds, practise using those sounds and then apply them in reading and writing.

We teach phonics using the DFE approved Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics scheme. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) that is based on the original Letters and Sounds, but has been extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme that meets all the expectations of the National Curriculum. This prepares your children to go beyond the expectations of the statutory check at the end of Year 1.

Nursery and Reception parents/carers are asked to attend a phonics workshop in October to find out more information about how phonics is taught at the Academy. We aim to develop parent’s confidence in helping their children with phonics and reading at home. If parents miss this workshop for any reason, the class teacher will be happy to arrange an alternative time to share the information.

Parents can also access supporting videos and resources here.

In the final half term of Year 1, pupils are assessed by a statutory ‘Phonics Screening Check’. Within this Phonics Screening Check the children are asked to read 20 real and 20 nonsense words containing some of the graphemes learnt in Reception and Year 1. This assessment is used alongside Teacher assessmentto identify children who will need to continue on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP in Year 2.

Children who do not pass in Year 1 will continue to participate in daily, structured phonics session throughout Year 2 and will retake the assessment at the end of Year 2.

Parents will be invited to attend a meeting during the Spring term to provide them with more information about the Phonics Screening Check when their child is in Year 1.