Our Phonics Curriculum
At Sacred Heart, we follow the Twinkl Phonics Programme
Twinkl Phonics is a fully comprehensive, synthetic phonics teaching programme designed to be used with children from Reception to Year 2. Delivered through the stories and adventures of Kit, Sam and the Twinkl Phonics family, the scheme builds and develops the skills and understanding children need to become effective, independent readers and writers.
What is Synthetic Phonics?
Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing in which words are broken up into their smallest units of sound or ‘phonemes’. Children learn to associate a written letter or group of letters, known as ‘graphemes’, with each phoneme. Sounds are then built up or ‘blended’ together into words for reading or, conversely, whole words are broken down or ‘segmented’ into their constituent sounds for writing.
The benefits of this approach are:
1. children learn in an order which is well thought-out and allows them to progress through stages as they are ready;
2. teachers have a structure for planning and clear stages for assessing children, in order to ensure progression and coverage;
3. children can attempt new words working from sound alone;
4. reading and writing become practices that are developed hand-in-hand.
Synthetic phonics has been the required method of teaching early reading and writing skills since the 2006 Rose Report, which examined the advantages of phonics through long term data. The benefits of a phonetic approach has been well evidenced and, as a result, the UK government produced its own non-statutory synthetic phonics guidance document, Letters and Sounds. In March 2021, the DfE decided it should not continue with its involvement in this work. While many practitioners are moving away from using this document to directly inform their teaching, it still has had a huge impact on how we teach phonics today.