Catsfield C of E Primary School Phonics for Parents 31.1.13
What is phonics? Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skillfully. 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.
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way - starting with the easiest sounds, progressing through to the most complex - it’s the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It’s particularly helpful for children aged 5–7.
How is it taught? The children will have a daily multisensory phonic session, which is normally up to about 20 minutes This session is practical and enjoyable The children need to practise phonic skills ‘little and often’
Enunciating sounds Phonemes (the smallest unit of sound in a word) should be articulated clearly and precisely
Blending and segmenting Blending: building words from their sounds in order to read Segmenting: breaking words down into their sounds to spell c a t
Phase 1 Discriminating between sounds Developing awareness of rhythm and rhyme Developing awareness of alliteration Exploring voice sounds Tuning into, listening to and talking about sounds Orally blending and segmenting
Phase 5 The same grapheme can be pronounced in different ways: i fin, find o hot, cold c cat, cent g got, giant ow cow, bow The same phoneme can be represented in more than one way: burn first term heard work
Best guesses The best guess is: You (usually) only get this in the middle of the word: You (usually) only get this at the end of a word: Not as common: a_e ai ay a eigh ey ei
What is the phonics screening check? It helps your school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress It happens in June in Year 1 and possibly Year 2 Your child will sit with a teacher they know and be asked to read 40 words aloud Some of the words they may have read before and some words will be completely new to them The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling, the teacher can easily stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). Your child will be told before the check that there will be non-words that they will not have seen before. Children will be familiar with this because schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics.
How to help at home Point out letters in signs when out and about Talk about words seen in everyday life Children need lots of experience of hearing and reading books Children need to build a stock of rhymes through hearing them repeated over and over again Sing songs Play letter games, such as ‘I Spy’ Make words with magnetic letters on the fridge Play ‘Pairs’, turning over two words at a time trying to find a matching pair Write a shopping list together
Key messages Enunciate sounds carefully When children don’t know how to read a word – support them to say and blend the sounds from left to right Try to make time to read with your child every day. Grandparents and older brothers or sisters can help, too When children don’t know how to spell a word – support them to ‘sound it out’ and then choose the right letters
Foster a love of reading! Sharing a book should be a relaxed, exciting and special experience
Glossary Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound in a word Grapheme: the letters representing a phoneme Digraph: a two-letter grapheme where two letters represent one sound e.g. ‘ea’ in seat Trigraph: a three-letter grapheme where three letters represent one sound e.g. ‘igh’ in night Split digraph: has a letter that comes between the two letters in the digraph, as in time and lime, where ’m’ separates the digraph ‘ie’