Phonics is the basis of how we teach children to read, and in Reception and Year 1 is where the building blocks are really put into place.
The jargon surrounding phonics can all seem a little alien to those new to using it, so we invite you to have a look at our tips, hints and activities on our phonics webapge, to help you learn a bit more of how we teach phonics at St Paul's and how you can help your children at home.
At St Paul's we have worked hard to develop the teaching and learning of phonics. We deliver phonics lessons daily, and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP. We then provide reading books which match children's reading ability.
Children in Recpeption, Year 1 and Year 2 are taught as a whole class and phonics application is followed up in either small group work, english lessons and in recpetion, continuous provision activities.
If you have any questions regarding phonics or early reading we are always happy to help, you can speak to your child's class teacher or Mrs Owen our phonics lead.
Click here for a copy of our parent workshop powerpoint
"Alexa - define phonics" - Phonics is a method of teaching reading and spelling based on the phonetic interpretation of ordinary spelling.
Ok.. and now without the jargon.
"Mrs Owen, define phonics" - Well, when a child is shown a letter for the first time, the letter means nothing. It is merely a symbol, a picture or a group of lines. It is only when we give that symbol a meaning, or a sound, that it begins to be of any use.
The letter shape is called a grapheme. The graphemes all represent sounds. The sounds, or phonemes can be made up of one, two or three letters. Children first practise the sounds by hearing and saying them, they listen for them in speech, we speak in sound talk to help hear all the sounds in a word, and we play games such as I spy to help us listen for the sounds. They then begin to match the sounds and letters, and that's when they can begin to read and write the words too!
Helping at home - reading at home is so important. The more children can practise putting sounds together, or sounding words out to read them, the better!
It is important not to add an 'uh' to the letter sound (this is known as a 'schwa'). So for the letter S we would say 'ssssssss' and not 'suh'. We teach children the pure sounds and that is how they will say them to you.
Here is a video of how to pronounce the sounds correctly, if you get into good habits, then your children will too.
Our Phonics Scheme: Little Wandle Letters And Sounds Revised
This scheme is new to us from Septmeber 2022. We are very excited to start our new phonics journey and can't wait to get started. If you would like some information about our new scheme, the parents section of the Little Wandle website is the perfect place to start. https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
What is the Phonics Screening Check? - This is a statutory asessment that is taken by year 1 children in June to assess their phonic ability to read words. Some of these words will be nonsense words (alien words) and some will be real. The purpose of this is to test how successful their decoding skills are. Children will be asked to read 40 words. They need to read 32 correctly to pass the check (this number can change but historically it has always been 32). If a child fails to meet the pass mark they can resit the check in year 2. Results get submitted to the Local Authority, but more importantly the results give teachers assessment information they can use to identify and support children who need extra reading interventions.
See below for a link to more information regarding the Phonics Screening Check.
Little Wandle - more information about our systematic synthetic phonics program.
Phonics Play - lots of games all grouped by phonics phases. Useful parent's section.
Teach Your Monster To Read - a fantastic website with games to help phonics progress. Desktop versions for laptops is FREE to sign up to, we highly reccomend you do this.
Oxford Owl - Phonics and reading. Helpful parent's section, free ebooks and games.
Twinkl - free account - Prinatble phonics activities
Letter and Sounds Home Learning Videos - These videos are short lessons that cover phases 2-5. Teachers may refer to these lessons on home learning tasks and give insructions on which videos to watch.