At Mount Street Academy we follow the Letters and Soundsframework. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department of Education and Skills. Letters and Sounds aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read and write by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. Active listening and sound discrimination activities begin in Nursery and continue throughout Reception and into KS1.
As the children move into Reception they are taught grapheme/phoneme correspondences (linking letters to sounds) starting with single letters and progressing to digraphs and trigraphs. This again continues into KS1 as children learn alternative phonemes for graphemes they know and vice versa. Throughout the scheme children are taught to blend phonemes for reading and segment them for spelling.
As they move through the framework there is an increasing emphasis on spellings and investigating and learning spelling patterns. Staff and children use a range of supporting materials including resources from Letters and Sounds, Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play.
At the centre of our reading scheme we have Pearson’s Phonics Bug which are fully decodable and comics for phonics. In the early stages when children are all learning to read through a phonic led approach we also use Oxford Reading Tree Floppy’s Phonics and Songbirds, Collins Big Cat Phonics, Dandelion Launchers from Phonic Books and Usborne Very First Reading.
As the children become confident with phonics and begin to read more fluently our scheme is further supplemented by a range of other scheme books from the companies listed plus a wide variety of real books to extend children’s vocabulary and to expose them to different genres. Each class also has a dedicated reading area and in Foundation Stage books are readily available in a wide variety of learning areas as part of enhanced provision. We also have a school library and the children are encouraged to borrow books to share with their families.