Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. 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 e.g. c-a-t = cat.
Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. It is particularly helpful for children aged 5 to 7. Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently and confidently, and to read for enjoyment.
Click here to view our Phonics Policy.
Letters and Sounds Programme
At Ecclesfield Primary School, we have fidelity to the Letters and Sounds programme as our approach to teaching reading. We aim 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. We follow a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting in Foundation 2 with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds - More information on the Letters and Sounds Programme
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP_FbjYUP_UtldV2K_-niWw - Letters and Sounds Lessons for you to access at home
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCI2mu7URBc – Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl
Sight Words and Tricky Sight Words
Learn more here https://www.twinkl.co.uk/teaching-wiki/sight-words
What is Cued Articulation?
It is a set of hand cues for teaching the individual sounds in a word. The hand movements are logical – each hand movement represents one sound and the cue gives clues as to how and where the sound is produced. At Ecclesfield, we use Cued Articulation to support our introduction of letter sounds and teaching children to cue into hearing letter sounds in spoken words.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPLnfNciLbA – hand cues for each letter sound
What is the Phonics Screening Check?
The Phonics Screening Check is a test for children in Year 1. Children take it during June in a one-to-one setting with a teacher. ... During the Phonics Screening Check, children are asked to read (decode) 40 words. Most of these words are real words but some are pseudo-words. The phonics screening check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps the school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress.
What are ‘non/pseudo-words’?
The check will contain a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ or ‘pseudo-words’ (or ‘nonsense/alien words’). Children will be told before the check that there will be non-words that he or she will not have seen before. Many children will be familiar with this because many schools already use ‘non-words’ when they teach phonics. Non-words are important to include because words such as ‘vap’ or ‘jound’ are new to all children. Children cannot read the non-words by using their memory or vocabulary; they have to use their decoding skills. This is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.
After the phonics check
The school will tell you about your child’s progress in phonics and how he or she has done in the screening check in the last half-term of Year 1.
If your child has found the check difficult, your child’s school should also tell you what support they have put in place to help him or her improve. You might like to ask how you can support your child to take the next step in reading.
Children who have not met the standard in Year 1 will retake the check in Year 2. All children are individuals and develop at different rates. The screening check ensures that teachers understand which children need extra help with phonic decoding.
Please click here for games to help your child learn sight words