Written by Year 1 Teachers – Cheryl Livingstone and Jean Hawksworth
StoryTime Phonics at The Fulbridge Academy Primary School
Written by Reception and Year 1 teachers who attended workshops, lesson observations and training from Michelle Larbey (English Advisor) and training from Dr Fiona Maine (lecturer at Cambridge University) and took active steps to put into practice the messages and strategies explored in relation to StoryTime Phonics.
The Fulbridge Academy is a 4-form entry school in Peterborough, rated outstanding by Ofsted. It is a Cambridge Primary review trust alliance school, a whole education partner and path finder school and a national school of creativity. The majority of pupils have English as an additional language and the school serves an area of social and economic deprivation.
We became involved with StoryTime Phonics because we were looking for a way to make phonics teaching more exiting in line with our creative curriculum approach. We had an initial visit from Michelle Larbey to discuss the aims and ideas and also have a demonstration of how the new approach might look in practice. The school were impressed with the idea of a more practical approach to teaching phonics and using real books to introduce and reinforce the sounds taught. Our school has been involved in trialing StoryTime Phonics with children in reception and year 1.
Using StoryTime Phonics
Using StoryTime Phonics has made phonics more fun and the children really enjoy their lessons as a result. They are now exposed to a broader range of teaching methods in phonics and ways to apply their learning. They have been introduced to a range of good quality books that enable them to better understand the link between phonics, books and reading, thus providing a real purpose for their learning. The books and caption actions support the children in remembering the new phonemes taught and also help them to associate the sounds with words and phrases from the texts. All the children are exposed to quality whole class phonics teaching and then are able to apply their learning suited to their different needs.
The multi sensory approach has worked well with our children at all levels, particularly those with EAL and SEN as it is very interactive, visual and practical. It also allows the more able children to experience such activities, as they are the group that might have previously completed more monotonous tasks as part of Letters and sounds.
For the teaching staff, being involved in the trial has supported our own professional development. The plans have encouraged us to be more creative in our phonics teaching and have given us a broader bank of ideas that we can use to adapt the plans to suit the needs of our classes.
Written by Cheryl Livingstone and Jean Hawksworth
Year 1 Teachers, The Fulbridge Academy Primary School