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An introduction to Letters and Sounds

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1 An introduction to Letters and Sounds
A six-phase teaching programme

2 Phonics at Mottram St Andrew:
20 mins everyday Key Stage 1- Letters and Sounds Key Stage 2- elements of Letters and Sounds and other reading and spelling activities. In Key Stage 2 this depends greatly on abilities.

3 Terminology: Phoneme – a sound in a word. A phoneme may be represented in more than one way – cat, kennel, choir. Phonemes are represented by graphemes. Grapheme – a letter or sequence of letters that represent a phoneme. A grapheme may consist of one (t), two (kn) or more letters (igh). The same grapheme may represent more than one phoneme – me, met. Digraph – two letters representing one phoneme: bath; train; ch ur ch.

4 Phonological Awareness.
Segmenting – Hearing the individual phonemes within a word – eg – the word crash consists of four phonemes: c-r-a- sh. In order to spell a word, a child must segment it into its phonemes and choose a grapheme to represent each phoneme. Blending – Merging the individual phonemes together to pronounce a word. In order to read an unfamiliar word, a child must recognise (sound out) each grapheme, not each letter (e.g. th – i-n not t-h-i-n), and then merge the phonemes together to make the word.

5 What is the Letters and Sounds programme?
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

6 Phase 1 (Nursery/Reception)
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

7 Phase 2 Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each.
Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions. Set 1: s, a, t, p Set 2: i, n, m, d Set 3: g, o, c, k Set 4: ck, e, u, r Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss

8 Phase 3 The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each.
Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language. Set 6: j, v, w, x Set 7: y, z, zz, qu Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er

9 During Phase 3, the following tricky words (which can't yet be decoded) are introduced:
she we me be was you they all are my her

10 Phase 4 No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

11 During Phase 4, the following tricky words (which can't yet be decoded) are introduced:
said have like so do some come were there little one when out what

12 Phase 5 Now we move on to the "complex code".
Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

13 During Phase 5, the following tricky words (which can't yet be decoded) are introduced:
oh their people Mr Mrs looked called asked could

14 Phase 6 Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically. When they come across unfamiliar words they will in many cases be able to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. With more complex unfamiliar words they will often be able to decode them by sounding them out.

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