Writing at St John Fisher

At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide all children with exciting and purposeful contexts in which to become confident and enthusiastic writers. As writing is a life-long skill, it is an essential part of the school’s role to develop each child as a writer. Our policy (see link below) aims to ensure that there is coherence and progression within our teaching across the school so that children have the opportunity to consolidate and develop their skills as a writer.

Writing Policy

Handwriting at St John Fisher

At St John Fisher, children begin learning letter formation through Story Time Phonics sparkle marks in reception. As they move through KS1 and KS2, we use Penpals to teach the joining of letters once a week.

Please look below at our Handwriting policy and information for parents

Handwriting Policy

Penpals for Handwriting Messages for Parents

Penpals_Scope_and_Sequence

Phonics at St John Fisher

Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching reading which first teaches the letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.

Synthetic phonics teaches the phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters). We use the Letters and Sounds Six Phase Programme which introduces the sounds associated with the letters at the rate of about one sound per day.

The sounds are taught on their own and  then blended together (this is called synthesising), all-through-the-word. For example, children might be taught a short vowel sound (e.g. /a/e//i/o/u/) in addition to some consonant sounds (e.g. /s/, /t/, /p/). Then the children are taught words with these sounds (e.g. sat, sit, pat, pit, pot, tap, at, it). They are taught to pronounce each phoneme in a word, then to blend the phonemes together to form the word (e.g. /s/ – /i/ – /t/; “sit”).

We teach sounds in all positions of the words( for example /t/ at the beginning of the word “top”, but at the end of the word “pit” or in the middle of the word “pitch”), but the emphasis is on all-through-the-word segmenting and blending from the beginning of the programme.

We are rigorous in our approach making sure that our phonic teaching is FUN, FREQUENT, FAST and FAITHFUL. Research evidence has shown that the most effective way to teach phonics is by using one main programme (in our case Letters and Sounds). This can be complimented and enriched by other materials and we use the ‘Storytime Phonics‘ to make our early phonics learning fun, successful and accessible for all learners.

Storytime phonics uses real story books and follows the DfE ‘Letters & Sounds’ document, providing a structured, easy to follow plans. It includes assessment and tracking of phonics and involves Whole Class Learning.

Glossary of terms used:

blend — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap

segment  — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word ‘cat’ has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.

vowel digraphs – comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow

split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site

grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in ‘though’)

grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as ‘letter-sound correspondences’

mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter ‘S’

phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters ‘sh’ represent just one sound, but ‘sp’ represents two (/s/ and /p/)

VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.