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Prospect Hill Infant And Nursery School

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Supersonic Phonic Friends

As a school we have adopted ‘Super Sonic Phonics Friends’, to support us with the  teaching of systematic synthetic phonics. This ensures a consistent approach across early years and Key Stage 1.  ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends’ is based on the well-recognised ‘Letters and Sounds’. Super Supersonic Phonic Friends is an enchanted adventure of phonics where along the way children will meet several friendly woodland characters who represent each literacy skill involved. Supported by the children's new 'Supersonic friends' and rhyming captions and phrases, this approach will ensure children develop confidence and apply each skill to their own reading and writing.  Meet the characters, explore the benefits and have a look at the links and videos below to find out more about our phonics scheme.

Meet the Characters

Please visit the website below for more information: 

https://www.supersonicphonicfriends.co.uk/

How we teach phonics

In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing.

 Our phonics teaching starts in Nursery and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. The focus is on listening and identifying the different sounds we hear in our environment and in songs, stories and rhymes. Once children can hear and differentiate between sounds they are ready to begin exploring how words are made up of sounds and start playing games like I spy. 

The Nursery phonics’ curriculum is split up into 7 aspects. 

During the Reception year children are introduced to phonemes and their corresponding graphemes. We begin to look at single letter sounds and the representing spelling for this. Children then begin to read and write three letter words; matching the grapheme to the sound they can hear. 

As they become confident and fluent readers and writers of CVC words children are then introduced to digraphs; where two letters make one sound. Throughout the whole of the reception year our phonic teaching relies on the firm foundations of orally blending and segmenting and is deep rooted in rhythm and rhyme. By the end of EYFS children should be fluent with all 44 sounds; including one way to represent them.

In Year 1 children develop their ability to hear and remember more than three sounds in a row and explore adjacent consonants to read CVCC and CCVC words such as ‘think, coast and blink’. They also become fluent at recognising and appling alternative sounds for the 44 graphemes they learnt in Reception and are introduced to alternative ways to make each of the digraphs they have previously learnt.  Through the use of the characters 'Switch it Mitch' and 'Choose to Use Suze' they recognise spelling patterns and rules to identify which spelling they need to represent the sound. By the end of Year 1 children will have had access to over 100 spellings to make the 44 sounds.

Children are also introduced to 'Nonsense Nan' who will guide them through how to read alien and real words in preparation for the Year 1 Phonic Screening Check at the end of their time in Year 1. Children are also introduced to more tricky and high frequency words. 

From Year 2, we continue to explore grapheme phoneme correspondence and learn spelling rules to support our reading and writing development. Supersonic Phonic Friends allows us access to a tailored programme of spelling rules for both children in Year 1 and Year 2. 

All lessons are delivered using a consistent set of slides provided by the phonic scheme. Lessons last 30 minutes and follow the structure of: 

Review and revisit

During this part of the session, children recap on the sounds previously taught. This will consist of a fun activity or game to focus on sounds the children have recently been taught or to look at tricky words.

Teach

This is the part of the lesson where new learning takes place. Children will be introduced to a new sound and taught how to orally blend and segment words containing that sound. They will be shown the grapheme to represent the sound. 

Practice

During this section children are given the opportunity to read and write words containing the new sound as well as orally spell and blend words with their phonic buddy. They will use a range of resources to embed their new learning; ensuring there is an equal balance of reading and writing. 

Apply

In every lesson children will be given an application task where they are expected to read and write new words and sounds within a caption or a sentence. This allows children to see their new learning in a context and to further embed their vocabulary and fluency. They will also apply tricky words and high-frequency words to their reading or writing. 

Within this structure all children become familiar with the characters and know the roles of their jobs. Children are given an equal balance of reading and writing phonic activities to ensure there is equal weighting to their application of skills. 

Reading Scheme

As a school we have a range of texts to support children and their reading development and these are categorised by the sounds they contain. 

All reading books are matched to the sounds children have covered in school to ensure we maximise their ability to apply their new knowledge and these books are read both within school and then sent home for children to further embed the skills. 

Assessment

Supersonic Phonic Friends is a programme rooted in the belief that “wrapping the children in lessons full  rhyme will allow children to achieve every time,” and that the careful and rigorous assessment will allow children at risk of falling behind to be pinpointed quickly and teachers can intervene effectively. 

Assessment takes the form of half termly whole class trackers to allow staff to easily identify children who are on track, above or if they require extra support to ‘keep up’ in their phonics and the application of their reading and writing. 

Supersonic Phonic Friends Progression Document