At St Margaret's we follow the new accredited phonics scheme called Supersonic Phonics.
In reception we learn phases 1, 2, 3, and 4 which in Supersonics is called Basics 1, 2, 3, and 4. We learn a new sound Monday to Thursday then recap on Friday. At the end of each week we post a video on Tapestry of the sounds we have learnt that week, the actions and letter formation ditties. Attached to this post is a parents letter of how to support your child with sound learnt that week, phonic, reading and writing skills.
Firm Foundations in Phonics offers experience, exposure and enjoyment of sound awareness. This phase is purely about securing a strong sound processing system which is critical to enjoyment and success in children’s later reading and writing skills. It must be noted that there are no flashcards required or allowed in this phase, it is solely about sound through the use of objects and pictures.
In the initial stages. there are daily activities for children to develop their auditory processing and memory skills and tune into sounds in the environment, instruments and body percussion. In the later stages there are daily activities for children to develop their skills in rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting.
Firm Foundations is the first stage of phonics and is often taught in nurseries and at the beginning of Reception. At St Margaret's we teach Firm Foundations in the first half term of school.
Firm Foundations of Supersonic phonics concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Basics 2. The emphasis during Firm Foundations is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
Firm Foundations is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).
It is intended that each of the first six aspects should be dipped into, rather than going through them in any order, with a balance of activities. Aspect 7 will usually come later, when children have had plenty of opportunity to develop their sound discrimination skills.
The aspects cover;
Typical activities for teaching Basics 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy.
This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.
The Basics 2 teaches children at least one spelling for 18 of the 44 sounds of the English language. Children will use their auditory processing and memory skills from Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 to start to recognise the spellings for the sound with Sam, segment and build with Seb and Bill, read and blend with Rex and Ben and write with Ron. They will learn the early concepts of Choose to Use with Suze for a handful of multiple spellings for sounds.
At the end of The Basics 2, children will be able to hear up to 3 sounds in words, recognise spellings and read and write simple CVC words with the 18 spellings for sounds. They will be able to read decodeable texts with The Basics 2 spellings and make phonetically plausible attempts in their emerging stages of spelling in their writing journey.
In Basics 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. A set of letters is taught each week. At St Margaret's we learn a new sound Monday to Thursday and recap learnt sounds on Friday.
Basics 2 sounds are learnt in the in the following sequence:
Group 1: s, a, t, p
Group 2: i, n, m, d
Group 3: g, o, c, k
Group 4: ck, e, u, r
Group 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss
As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. For example, they will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat. They will also start learning to segment words. For example, they might be asked to find the letter sounds that make the word tap from a small selection of magnetic letters.
Basic 2 introduces high frequency words (tricky words) which are led by character Tricky Tess. These are common words that often appear in written texts that can be decoded (sounded out) or exception words that need to be learnt by sight like the and I.
The Basics 3 teaches children the spellings for the further 26 of the 44 sounds of the English language. Children will use their auditory processing and memory skills from Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 and their Basics 2 skills to continue to recognise the spellings for the sound with Sam, segment and build with Seb and Bill, read and blend with Rex and Ben and write with Ron. They will continue to learn the early concepts of Choose to Use with Suze for some further multiple spellings for sounds and an introduction to Switch it with Mitch for alternative pronunciations of spellings for sounds. Children will learn their tricky words with Tess and read nonsense words with Nan.
By the time they reach Basics 3, children will already be able to blend and segment words containing the 19 letters taught in Basics 2.
Over the twelve weeks which Basics 3 is expected to last, twenty-five new graphemes are introduced (one at a time).
Group 1: j, v, w, x
Group 2: y, z, zz, qu
Group 3: ch, sh, th, ng
Group 4: ai, ee, igh, oa,
Group 5: oo, oo, ar, or,
Group 6: ur, ow, oi, er,
Group 7: ear, air, ure,
During Basics 2 and 3, children will learn the letter name as well as it's sound.
In Basics 3 children will learn more high frequency words.
The Basics 4 teaches children to be able to hear more than 3 sounds in a word. They will continue to embed their mastery of The Basics 1 and 2 spellings for sounds in words and progress to 4, 5 and 6 sounds in a word. They will be supported by Magic Mack and Jazzy Jack who will help them hear the tricky adjacent consonants that are challenging to hear in words of more than 3 sounds. Children will learn their tricky words with Tess and read nonsense words with Nan.
When children start Basics Four of Supersonic phonics programme, they will know a grapheme for each of the 42 phonemes. They will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them.
Children will also have begun reading straightforward two-syllable words and simple captions, as well as reading and spelling some high frequency words.
In Basics 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk.
Supersonic Phonic Friends Information Parent Workshop