Rationale: So how does Fabulous Phonics work?
It's about total immersion in learning letter sounds by linking all the activities in the environment. The first thing to do is capture interest: We have some children whose spoken language is not well developed and others who have English as their second language. I’ll teach three letters a week. Each letter will get a whole day devoted to it. So the children will do everything with that letter, special songs, rhymes and stories, eating food that begins with that letter for snack, other multi-sensory activities and active learning outside. I’ll use the sound boxes of tiny toys for every letter and sound – so in the 'A box' the children will play with ants, ambulances, astronaut figures and so on. I’ll link in our mathematics story and number, in addition to our physical (real PE) story and unit with the theme of the week to support phonics teaching.
Instead of covering a topic in the first term I will have weekly themes, designed around the phonics teaching of three letters a week. It's systematic synthetic phonics but with a twist. So that first week it's snakes, ants and tigers... and a jungle theme emerges. We eat strawberries and apples, all our songs and books are based on the letters and the language will reappear in their play. The children will take something they have made home every week, for example snake spirals at the end of week one.
At end of every week, children will do a 'Big Write'. During the week, children will make a picture about the theme and by Friday, each child has a picture mounted on A3 paper, with space to write their sentence below. These 'Big Writes' will be collected into their mark making folders, showing how we first learned to write.
We have now completed the alphabet and the children will hopefully be able to recognise and make single sounds linked to each letter of the alphabet.
We will then be focusing on the letter formation of each of these sounds during phonics. We will be introduced to the 'handwriting families' and try really hard to use them in our writing.
There will be a 'Sparkle Writing Stay and Play' session early in the Spring term where the children will demonstrate their learning and parents can find out how we learn to write.
In the Spring term we are learning two letter sounds and will continue to send home a scrapbook with the week's sounds in for you to practise with your child at home.
Take a look at the resources and links below, they can help you to practise at home.
Talk 4 Writing
Talk for Writing, developed by Pie Corbett, supported by Julia Strong, is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. It is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.
The approach has dramatically improved pupil happiness, confidence and skill in writing, reading and speaking. As our children have built a bank of language, including vocabulary, their desire to write and read has also improved.
If you would like to see Talk 4 Writing 'in action' in the Early Years, please do come to our Harvest workshop where you can see Reception actively learning using this approach in our 'Little Red Hen' story.
We have decided to trial the Singaporean approach to mathematics in Reception this year to match the rest of our school. We have created a syllabus in line with Development Matters using the Maths No Problem and Early Bird Kindergarten resources, creating a plan for our reception children that align with the rest of the school.
We also take part in daily number sessions which are introduced on a Monday through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. During which the children develop their mathematical understanding. One number and concept are focused on each week.
We learn to form these numbers through 'Ten Town' rhymes.