We are grateful for all of your support in helping your child achieve their very best in English. If you have any questions, please pop in for a chat with your child's class teacher, or with Beth Reeves (English Subject Leader).
Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) and the symbols that represent them (graphemes). Phonics is the method we use to teach the mechanics of reading and writing, beginning in nursery and continuing until the end of KS1. We support this by teaching comprehension and love of text through Guided Reading, class story, shared poetry and non-fiction books, and reading with children individually. We also offer Fresh-start for catch up reading in KS2.
Decoding - In reception children are taught the sound a word starts with, to say the sound out loud and then recognize how that sound is represented by a letter. After a short time children are able to recognize the initial sounds of many words and match them to the correct letter.
The first phonemes are m,a,s,d,t
Children are taught to:
*say the pure sound
* read the sound
* write the sound
Sound-letter pictures are used to help the children learn these sounds quickly
(see below for examples of the picture and sound flashcards).
After a while, children will have built up a group of sounds and will be ready for word reading. This is a very exciting time where children learn to 'crack the code' of reading by sounding out each phoneme and blend the sounds to form words.
While children are learning to say the sounds of letters out loud, they will also begin to learn to write these letters (encoding). They will be taught where they need to start with each letter and how the letters need to be formed in relation to each other. Letters (or groups of letters) that represent phonemes are called graphemes.
By the end of Reception, children should be able to write one grapheme for each of the 44 phonemes.
In Year 1, they will start to explore vowel digraphs and trigraphs (a group of three letters that makes a single sound, like 'igh' as in 'sigh') further. They will begin to understand, for example, that the letters 'ea' can make different sounds in different words (dream and bread). They will also learn that one sound might be represented by different groups of letters: for example, light and pie ('igh' and 'ie' make the same sound).
Children in Year 2 will be learning spelling rules, such as adding suffixes to words (such as -ed, -ing, -er, -est, -ful, -ly, -y, -s, -es, -ment and -ness). They will be taught rules on how to change root words when adding these suffixes (for example, removing the 'e' from 'have' before adding 'ing') and then move onto harder concepts, such as silent letters (knock, write, etc) and particular endings ('le' in bottle and 'il' in fossil).
There are a few links below to some enjoyable games and activities that you can use to support your child with their phonics. If you need any further information or support, please don't hesitate to ask.