Phonics. What is phonics? Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to: Recognise the sounds that each

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PhonicsWhat is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to: Recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes; Identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as sh or oo; and Blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to de-code new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step to helping them readLetters and SoundsWhy Letters and Sounds?This is the Government recommended scheme provided by the old Primary National Strategy to support the learning of phonics.

It is used by a large number of schools with great results.

How often, long and when?Your child will receive a daily phonics session lasting approximately 10/20mins (Depending on their age).

They will be taught by their class teacher as a whole class at the appropriate level for the year group.

Any child who needs additional support and requires further consolidation of the previous sounds taught will receive a short individual/small group session at another time in the day from either the class teacher or one of our highly skilled LSAs.

How is it taught?The short lessons are fast paced and consist of four parts. Review and Revisit the sounds from previous learning.Teach a new sound every dayPractise games / word cards etc incorporating these soundsApply read or write a caption using one or more of known high frequency words and words containing the new sounds.Teachers will use a range of resources and techniques including magnetic letters, buckets of water, white boards, letter fans, letter cards, games, robot talking and phoneme fingers, to make the lessons fun and interactive.

What order?There are six phases to the programme and it is hoped that most children will complete these whilst with us at the infant school.

Phase One Children are taught to hear and distinguish sounds from their environment. They learn to hear rhyme and alliteration (words starting with the same sound). They explore instrumental sounds and learn to make different sounds with their own mouths. A child needs to be proficient in these areas before they can even begin to tune into discreet phonic sounds which make up our language system.

Phase Two The first set of phonemes are introduced over a period of 6 weeks. The order allows children to begin to make words and segment (separate) and blend (join together) letters after only 1 week. How many words can you make with these letters?

satpinNow compare this with the first 6 letters of the alphabet.

a b c d e fPhase Three Teaches the children a further 25 sounds over a ten week period. With these learnt a child can make a phonically plausible attempt at any word they like as they have been taught every sound in the English language. At this point it does not matter that the children are not spelling accurately. It is about having the confidence to have a go and be successful as independent learners.

Phase Four Provides a four week consolidation of the above sounds ensuring the children can read and write them with confidence.

Phase Five This is where the fun starts! At this point we teach the children the alternatives and help them to learn how to choose between the digraphs (two letters making 1 sound) so they get the spelling right. This is no easy task as some sounds are made in many different ways. This is because our language originates from many different countries. Look at all these words that have the ai sound in them and note the spelling:

ai = pain ay = day a-e= make

Phase Six This last phase looks more at spelling rules and patterns and gives children a real love of words

Tricky Words or High Frequency WordsThere are many words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read and that they need to write. These are taught early on as Tricky words. The children just need to be able to look at these and recognise them without relying on their phonic knowledge.

the he want was

Some terminology explainedRobot or Fred Talk this is when words are broken down into each discreet sound. Phoneme Fingers This is when the phonemes are counted and the matching number of fingers are held up.Sound buttons or Sausages and Beans this is when dots and dashes are marked under a word to show knowledge of the sounds.Phoneme this is a discreet unit of sound.Digraph where two letters make one sound (er, sh, ee)Trigraph where three letters make one sound (igh, ear)Grapheme the written form of the sound

Helping at homeJust knowing some of this information will support you when you are reading with your child. You will know whether or not they are able to sound out a word or whether you should tell them the word and help them be more confident and fluent.

When your child is writing at home, again you will have some idea as to whether they can sound it out and will celebrate with them if they have applied the right sounds even if you, as an adult, know the spelling is incorrect.


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