From when our children start in our Nursery they are exposed to listening and speaking opportunities which will form the foundations of learning to read and write. The more you talk with your child and encourage good listening and speaking skills the more likely they will flourish when asked to learn the sounds we use to read and write.
We are currently using 'Letters and Sounds' and Pearson phonics 'Bug Club' to teach phonic skills to our Early Years and Key Stage 1 children. To support with reading, all of our early reading books use a phonics based approach. Phonic patterns are used for spelling lists and are further developed through handwriting practise.
In Key Stage 2, those children who require further phonic support take part in small booster groups delivered by our trained teaching assistants. We use a variety of materials to plan for these groups which include 'Rapid phonics' and 'Rapid readers'. Both schemes include reading books and activity sheets which children can take home for follow-up work.
Here are the phonic steps we use in our Academy:
Please ask your child's class teacher if you would like further advice on how to support your child with phonics.
blend (vb) — to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap
cluster — two (or three) letters making two (or three) sounds, e.g. the first three letters of 'straight' are a consonant cluster
digraph — two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, ch, th, ph.
vowel digraphs comprise of two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow
split digraph — two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-e as in make or i-e in site
grapheme — a letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. sh, ch, igh, ough (as in 'though')
grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) — the relationship between sounds and the letters which represent those sounds; also known as 'letter-sound correspondences'
mnemonic — a device for memorising and recalling something, such as a snake shaped like the letter 'S'
phoneme — the smallest single identifiable sound, e.g. the letters 'sh' represent just one sound, but 'sp' represents two (/s/ and /p/)
segment (vb) — to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word 'cat' has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/
VC, CVC, CCVC — the abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant-vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, which are used to describe the order of letters in words, e.g. am, ham, slam.