Freemantles Primary

Phonics in Secondary and FE


All staff in Freemantles Secondary and FE are trained in phonics and have the knowledge to assist our students with developing their decoding, blending and early reading skills.

We are aware as a school for students with complex communication needs and/ or Autism that the research suggests that individuals with this presentation can struggle with phonics.

However, we believe it is important to give our young people a broad and balanced communication curriculum that also gives them the opportunity to experience ‘phonics’. There will always be those students for whom it is not accessible or appropriate, and those young people will access other communication and reading strategies as needed. 

Key stage 3

Students in key stage 3 are taught phonics both through focussed sessions and discrete learning built into their functional curriculum. This helps them build upon the skills they have learnt in the Primary department. Close working and handover with the year 6 teachers ensures that each year 7 student is able to continue their learning journey to maximise progress when they begin in the secondary school.

Students are supported individually dependent on their level of recognising, decoding and blending letter sounds.

Some – are able to use their phonetic knowledge to blend, decode and increase their level of communication across the functional curriculum.

Most –are able to build up a bank of letter sounds that they can use to support their day-to-day communication, functional language and early reading skills.

All – are able to experience the sounds and songs that accompany the relevant programme and can explore the use of sounds in their individual early reading, language and communication skills. 

Key stage 4 and FE

Key stage 4 and FE will be supported to use any phonetic skills they have to decode, blend and recognise a range of letter sounds.

Those that have built up a bank of sounds will be encouraged to use their skills when participating in the functional and vocational curriculum.

Individuals will be supported to expand their phonetic knowledge during language and communication sessions.

Phonics is not be taught as a stand-alone session, it is built in and embedded to the individuals daily programme if necessary