Phonics in our school was ‘boring’ as our Year 1 children told us. So, we knew we had to find some inspiration. Storytime phonics was the answer!
We have been following the scheme for just over a year. Children in F2 and Year 1 are taught in whole class groups. One of our Year 1 teachers commented:
‘I like the fact that it is easier to reinforce what the children have been taught throughout the day. It encourages the application of their phonics.’
We have adapted the scheme to suit our school. Our school has over 80% EAL children, so we mostly teach just 2 sounds a week, involving reading and writing the sounds. The caption and action for each sound helps the children remember the sounds. Each caption and action relates to the story connected to the sound. The ‘sparkle mark’ helps children form the letter and is again connected to the story for each sound.
Phonics is no longer boring.
The children do not use the word ‘boring’ anymore. Their eyes light up when they see the phonic fairy appear. The scheme is interactive for the children, we have even had a Princess and Princes’ dressing up day when F2 were reading ‘Cinderella’.
We like the way the Phonic Fairy reads each story in different locations relating to the story, for example a fire station for the story ‘Emergency’, which is really good for our children who have not experienced many different locations.
The phonic knowledge of our children has increased with our Year 1 phonic screening score increasing from 69.8% to 75%. Also, one of our Year 1 Teaching Assistants commented how the new children in her Year 1 class this year were more confident with their phonic knowledge.
Thank you for giving us back our phonic inspiration!
This blog was written for us by Alison Nason who is Assistant Headteacher at Berridge Primary and Nursery School, Nottingham.