“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” Garrison Keillor
Systematic Synthetic Phonics
At Braywick Court School all staff are trained in the teaching of synthetic phonics. This is an award-winning, multi-sensory phonics programme which uses colour to consistently code for key graphemes in English. It is unique, in that it uses character (monster) phoneme cues and colour-coding to represent the long vowel sounds, silent letters and tricky letters.
How do we teach Phonics?
Phonics is taught daily from preschool to Year 2, following the monster phonics systematic synthetic phonics scheme. Phonics teaching covers a range of skills including phoneme grapheme correspondence, decoding, segmenting and blending and reading for meaning. Pupils are given the opportunity to apply their phonic knowledge through carefully planned activities. Whole class phonics teaching ensures a balance between teacher directed instruction and pupil participation. Monster Phonics creates a love of learning by making learning fun and more memorable. Monster Phonics uses colour-coding to promote understanding, which improves results.
Monster Phonics makes learning to read and spell through phonics easier, by categorising the 44 sounds into 10 categories and each of these 10 categories are represented by a Monster. Each Monster is a different colour, and this colour represents that way of spelling the sound. This makes learning to read and spell much easier and more fun. The child learns through the assignment of colour and the linkage of the sound, as well as seeing the colour, creating more ways of remembering the spelling. The games, songs and activities within the programme continuously reflect this way of learning, so that structure is constantly seen, heard and experienced by your child. This consistency is critical in ensuring that a complicated language is learnt in the most simplistic way.
By Year 2, Monster Phonics also focuses upon the spelling and grammar rules found within the national curriculum and provides a seamless transition for pupils to be ready for Key Stage 2.
Decodable Reading Books
We have Monster Phonics books available in school and they are used during guided reading sessions and as take home books. Pupils will receive at least one Monster Phonics book per week . The Monster Phonics books are fully decodable. This means that children can read them using just their phonics skills and knowledge. The sounds in the book that children take home reflect the sequence of sounds taught in school meaning that your child should be able to read this text at around 90% accuracy and fluency. It is important that pupils are given the opportunity to re-read books many times to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading. Pupils also have access to the eBook library of previously read Monster Phonics books.
Assessment of Phonics and Early Reading
Regular and efficient monitoring of children’s development in phonics is essential if they are to become competent and confident readers, and subsequently writers. The Monster Phonics programme has a clearly mapped set of assessments which allows for checking children’s grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC), knowledge of High-Frequency Words (HFWs) and Common Exception Words (CEWs) for reading and writing.
The assessment schedule for Monster Phonics is broken down for each year group; Reception, Year One and Year Two. Each year group has a set of graphemes, CEWs and HFWs to be learnt and then assessed.
Pupils in Year 1 are well prepared for the Phonics Screening Check which takes place in the Summer Term.