At Heyford Park Free School, we believe the primary focus of teaching phonics is to support our early readers to make the links between letters and sounds (phonemes) and develop awareness of letter-sound correspondences. Children also develop their awareness of spelling patterns with the aim to be able to apply their key knowledge and skills in their reading and eventually their independent writing.
Children at Heyford Park Free School need to be able to blend sounds together to decode words, and break spoken words into their sounds to write. We use the Letters and Sounds scheme to support our delivery of phonics.
This uses a phased approach to introducing phonemes and graphemes, expecting children to be secure in one phase before moving on to the next phase. In line with every other aspect of the curriculum, teachers then use a variety of resources to deliver phonics teaching. We encourage our teachers to be confident enough to develop, adapt and implement the most appropriate phonics instruction in order to meet the needs of individual students.
Teachers at Heyford Park Free School understand that systematic phonics instruction is only one component of a total reading program. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme to enable children to become confident readers as they apply phonetic awareness and whole word recognition whilst also improving fluency and comprehension strategies. The children also develop transitional skills for spelling and writing as they progress through the school.