English & Phonics
At St Joseph’s we follow the National Curriculum. The overarching aim for our English curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The school follows the National Curriculum programmes of study using the DfE’s Letters and Sounds programme. At St Joseph’s we aim to develop children’s reading, writing and spelling skills.
There are six phases in learning phonics:
Phase One (Foundation 1 and Foundation 2)
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.
Phase Two (Foundation 2) up to 6 weeks
Learning nineteen phonemes (single letters) of the alphabet and four digraph (two letters together which make one phoneme). Blending phonemes and digraph together to make cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. Segmenting words into their separate phonemes. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Foundation 2) up to 12 weeks
Learning the remaining seven phonemes of the alphabet, sixteen digraphs and four trigraphs (three letters which make one phoneme). 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.
Phase Four (Foundation 2 ) 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.
Phase 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.
Pupils will be be taught to:
- read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word
- read words containing taught GPCs (Grapheme-phoneme-correspondence) and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings
- read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
- read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)
Year 2 Spelling
Pupils will be taught to:
- segmenting spoken words into phonemes and representing these by graphemes, spelling many correctly
- learning new ways of spelling phonemes for which one or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones
- learning to spell common exception words
- learning to spell more words with contracted forms
- learning the possessive apostrophe (singular) [for example, the girl’s book]
- distinguishing between homophones and near-homophones
- add suffixes to spell longer words, including –ment, –ness, –ful, –less, –ly
- write from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs, common exception words and punctuation taught so far.
Year 3/4 Spelling
Pupils will be taught to:
- use further prefixes and suffixes and understand how to add them
- spell further homophones
- spell words that are often misspelt
- place the possessive apostrophe accurately in words with regular plurals [for example, girls’, boys’] and in words with irregular plurals [for example, children’s]
- use the first two or three letters of a word to check its spelling in a dictionary
- write from memory simple sentences, dictated by the teacher, that include words and punctuation taught so far.
Year 5/6 Spelling
Pupils will be taught to:
- use further prefixes and suffixes and understand the guidance for adding them
- spell some words with ‘silent’ letters [for example, knight, psalm, solemn]
- continue to distinguish between homophones and other words which are often confused
- use knowledge of morphology and etymology in spelling and understand that the spelling of some words needs to be learnt specifically
- use dictionaries to check the spelling and meaning of words
- use the first three or four letters of a word to check spelling, meaning or both of these in a dictionary
- use a thesaurus.
At St Joseph’s the following reading schemes are used within Foundation and KS1:
Project X, PM Library, Lighthouse, Rigby Star, Oxford Reading Tree Phonics, Comics for Phonics, All Aboard