Why teach Phonics? • Phonics -main strategy supporting word recognition • Teaches children to connect letters of the alphabet to the sounds they make-blending them together from left to right to make a word. • Supports children in identifying those individual sounds (phonemes) within words and segment them for spelling.
A quick guide • phonics(also known as ‘synthetic phonics’) – The teaching of reading by developing awareness of the sounds in words and the corresponding letters used to represent those sounds. • phoneme - Any one of the 44 sounds which make up words in the English language. • grapheme – How a phoneme is written down. There can be more than one way to spell a phoneme. For example, the phoneme ‘ay’ is spelt differently in each of the words ‘way’, ‘make’, ‘fail’, ‘great’, ‘sleigh’ and ‘lady’. • blending – Putting together the sounds in a word to read it, e.g. ‘c – a – t cat segmenting– Breaking a word into its sounds in order to spell them, e.g. ‘cat, c – a – t ’’
A typical phonics session Revisit and Review Practise previously learned letters Practise oral blending and segmentation Teach Teach a new phoneme/grapheme correspondence Teach blending and/or segmentation with letters Teach one or two tricky words Practise Practise reading and/or spelling words through games and activities Apply Read or write a caption or sentence (with the teacher) using one or more high frequency words and words containing newly learnt phoneme/grapheme correspondences Assess Learning against criteria, revisiting for next session
Teaching Phonics in School • Children are taught reading and spelling daily throughout the week, and each session will follow a structured format. • The activities used to teach will vary and can be adapted. They are multisensory and appeal to different learning styles. They involve games and individual and group activities as well as teacher-led sessions. • Teachers will assess children’s understanding throughout each session and will also assess knowledge of sounds to see whether a child is ready to move on to the next phase.
Tricky words These are words that have to be taught through repeated revision. The children need to learn these by sight as they cannot be segmented/blended.
Being a Successful Reader • Two main skills • Phonics –decoding by blending the sounds in words to read them • Language comprehension-understand what the word means within the context it appears • Language development and phonics work together to support reading development.
What you can do at home…. • Keep sessions relaxed – find a comfortable place where you and your child can settle down. • Keep sessions short. • Give lots of praise, progress may not always be fast – children do not always find the skill of reading and understanding easy to grasp. • Talk about the book before you begin to read – look at the front cover, and the pictures and ask your child to think about or even guess what the book may be about. • Ask questions to check your child’s understanding e.g. What might happen next? Why did something happen? Talk about the book afterwards – did your child enjoy it? Why? What was the best bit? • If your child struggles over a particular word, try to find ways to help them remember it e.g. by looking at the ‘shape’ of the word, or by guessing the word from the meaning of the sentence. • Don’t give up on the bedtime story, even if your child is a good reader. The more stories and books your child hears, the more they will want to read. • Be a good model for your children – let them see you reading – anything and everything – newspapers, magazines, catalogues, books etc. – let them know that reading is a valuable skill. • Making up a story or telling them about when you were a child or something that happened to you at school, remember you don’t always need a book to tell a good story. • Taking it in turns to read parts of the story. Telling them one thing you really enjoy about listening to them read.
Bug club • What is Bug Club? • Bug Club is a finely-levelled reading scheme, which ensures that all children can find books at exactly the right level for them. What’s more, there are online versions for every printed title and a personalised website for each child.
End of Reception Year Reading – Early Learning Goal Criteria ‘Early Learning Goal Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Strategies to support early writing Using the correct Letter formation Being able to ‘hold’ a sentence in your head. Think it, say it, write it, check it. Visual support Providing children with interesting stimulus to motivate and encourage writing and early mark-making. Variety of pencils and mark-making tools of various thicknesses to help children to develop a comfortable pencil grip.
What you can do at home…. • Messy play – cornflour & water to make slime, mark-making in hair conditioner, tweezers/ spoons to collect pasta, buttons, beads, rice….the list is endless! • Creative – painting, drawing & colouring • Outdoor play – climbing, digging in the mud & throwing & catching games. • Big scale mark-making – chalks on the floor, buckets of water & large paint brushes or rollers. • Writing shopping lists together to take with you – can your child read their own writing and tick items off the list as you find them? • Writing cards, diaries and invitations to friends and family – it is important that writing has a purpose.
Beginning to write…what next? Individual letter formation and forming letters in their own first name. Writing CVC words and making phonetically plausible attempts at other simple words. Writing their full name. Writing short captions and sentences. Sustained writing – writing for longer periods and producing longer pieces of written work.
End of Reception Year Moving and handling – Early Learning Goal Criteria ‘…they handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.’
End of Reception Year Writing – Early Learning Goal ‘Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can easily be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.’