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Phonics throughout the whole school

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mprimaryz, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. mprimaryz

    mprimaryz New commenter

    Do people think that phonics should be taught throughout the whole primary school? What are your views?
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not phonics as such no. Once children have learned all the sounds and can blend and segment there is little point in continuing to teach it.

    However should they then move on to be learning spelling rules/patters/etc then yes definitely.

    Should be a seamless flow from phase 1 type phonics in nursery to phonics in reception/year 1 and basic spelling in year 2 to more complex spelling in year 3-6 in my view. With exceptions for the very most and least able of course.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think it depends on your definition of phonics ...
    We teach phonics throughout the whole school but by KS2 it is predominately phonics for spelling whereas in reception and KS1 there is equal focus on reading and spelling.
    We don't use L&S but phase 1 is meant to be continuous across all year groups as really it is just good language development.
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Yeps I forgot about that aspect. I meant that nursery would be starting with lots of listening activities and getting to know sounds in words so being ready to start letter work by reception.

    My year 2 love listening and sound games meant for phase 1, they would probably cry if we stopped playing them entirely. Sound (real sounds not letter sounds) and listening activities are good practice for all ages.
  5. mprimaryz

    mprimaryz New commenter

    How do you use phonics for spelling in ks2? Do you follow a particular scheme? I'm new to coordinating literacy!
  6. I agree.
    Phonics is of most use for teaching reading and for the most basic stage of writing.
    Learning to spell English is mainly a matter of learning which words have irregular spellings and what those irregularities are, e.g. said, friend, other, women, pretty, and all the others at
    <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/11/english-spelling-rules.html</font>
    Learning the basic spelling patterns is easy.
    It's the exceptions which are tricky and time-consuming.

  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The government published Support for Spelling which is a spelling/ phonics programme (y2-6)
    we also use Get Spelling (although we adapt it to our needs and don't follow it failthfully)
  8. Hi Msz,

    I just wondered how do you assess the children on R.W.I Spelling? I have just introduced this in our school for 2a's and above. The assessment is not as clear as in R.W.I Phonics.

  9. The best way of assessing spelling is to record the words which pupils misspell in their writing.
    That's easy for children who make few mistakes, but harder for those who misspell many.
    Getting each child to record their misspellings in some form might be a good idea to save u time.
    Perhaps more able pupils could do so for the weakest and help them to improve?
    Teaching is invariably a good way of learning, so the best spellers would just keep getting better, but help the weak ones too.

  10. Increasingly we receive requests for training which includes key stage two staff.
    This is because there is recognition that it is very important for key stage two staff to understand the nature and content of systematic synthetic phonics teaching (for reading and spelling) to be able to build on the good work of key stage one.
    It is also because key stage two teachers appreciate that phonics for spelling is very important and 'look, cover, write, check' is not necessarily the best way to teach spelling.
    In our training events, we promote the appreciation that even adult, proficient readers and spellers apply their phonics knowledge and skills to read and spell new, longer and more challenging words. This often happens subconsciously and teachers in higher key stages don't necessarily think about their own processes well enough.
    That's not to say all proficient adult spellers do the same thing, but most do syllable chunking when spelling new, longer words and most apply their knowledge of phonics to working out how to pronounce new, longer, challenging words for reading.
    Privately, however, when we read 'silentl' many of us simply 'skip' longer words when we are reading - and these words are usually few and far between. Sadly for our pupils, many default to this silent 'skipping' without the full awareness of their teachers and parents. As so many of the words in literature are new to children, this can amount to a lot of skipping!
    Anyway, back to spelling. I, personally, recommend a continuation of the phonics 'oral segmenting' for spelling - and then teaching/learning 'which' spelling alternatives to use for specific words.
    Further, building up of 'spelling word banks' is really helpful.
    Few of our pupils have truly 'photographic' memories for spelling so it is beneficial for them to have explicit phonics teaching as a continuum throughout primary (and secondary).
    What I discovered in the writing of phonics programmes is that the slightly more rare spellings have very teachable and memorable 'word banks'. You can provide a mnemonic spelling story plus, perhaps, an illustration to focus on word banks spelt in the same way by linking them together.
    You can also have fun getting the children to 'act out' the words in specific spelling word banks (no more than one specific spelling alternative in any one day to prevent confusion). The children act out each word in the spelling word bank through mime, singing, dancing - or whatever. Then they work in pairs to recall those words, then they feed back the words to the whole class. The following day, ask them to recall the words again.
  11. http://www.phonicsinternational.com/unit1.html
    Further, I promote the helpfulness of main display Alphabetic Code Charts which provide spelling reference charts. A preferred one of these charts can be used to complement any synthetic phonics programme and can be used for display throughout key stage two to support phonics teaching especially for spelling.
  12. Teaching general rules, such as that <a-e> occurs in the stem of words and <ay> at the end, or that <ain> is more common than <ane> is fine. But this does not enable children to make decisions about particular words.
    But to call this 'phonics', in the sense of teaching sound-to-letter correspondences is ridiculous.
    It amounts simply to memorisation of spelling quirks by means of word lists.
    Why SP advocates insist on calling all teaching of reading and writing 'phonics' is a mystery.
    For learning the trickiest spellings, such as 'their/there, two/too/to, male/mail....' phonics is of no use at all.

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