The small school with a big heart.

English: Phonics and Spelling

Our teaching of English includes phonics, reading, writing, handwriting and EGPS (English, punctuation, grammar and spelling). Please find here the primary national curriculum for English: 

Link to English NC 

We teach phonics using an enhanced version of the programme Letters and Sounds. In Early Years and Key Stage One, phonics is taught in a daily discrete session. Children have the opportunity to consolidate their phonics understanding during guided reading lessons, working through Big Cat phonically decodable books until they are able to read fluently using all of the grapheme phoneme correspondences (GPCs) that they should know following our phonics programme. Any children requiring daily extra practice or intervention receive this provision using tightly structured interventions recommended by our partners, The Greetland English Hub. Some children require further phonics support beyond the point where the teaching of Letters and Sounds would end: small, targeted groups of phonically decodable readers in Year Two and Key Stage Two take place daily to ensure all children have the strongest foundations possible to become fluent readers.  

At Kirkstall Valley Primary, we use a ‘shaker’ to model the segmenting of words into phonemes to help children spell. We use sound buttons so that children can identify GPCs they recognise, helping them to read accurately. These strategies are modified appropriately for the teaching of spelling after children have finished our phonics programmePlease see the video below for a quick guide to our pracitcal phonic teaching strategies. 

Phonics strategy Video  (coming soon)

Please see our long-term plans for phonics below, adjusted to ensure all children access the full phonics curriculum regardless of interruptions due to COVID-19. 

Phonics Long Term Plan

Spelling is taught discretely three times per week in Key Stage Two following the long-term plan for spelling. There are ample opportunities to revisit and revise spellings from the phonics programme and from earlier years as necessary. Children are tested weekly and parents informed of their attainment regularly. Please ensure that children are practising their spellings regularly at home as part of their homework. The Nessy intervention programme is used for those children who require extra support in decoding and spelling in Key Stage Two.  

Long-term Plan 

Assessment in phonics is completed each half term as children progress through the phonics programme. These assessments are used to inform staff of specific gaps or need for intervention. In spelling, teachers test each week, including a number of words from previous weeks’ learning. Summative assessments are completed at the end of each term.  

For further information about our English curriculum, please speak to Mr Asquith. 

Our governor with responsibility for English is Emma Carter.