Phonics (Letters and sounds)
How we teach phonics
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. Every letter and different combinations of letters make particular sounds for example the letter ‘s’ makes a hissing like a snake. At Watton at Stone Primary School we follow the Letters and Sounds Programme of teaching, which is split into 6 phases that systematically build on skills and knowledge of previous learning.
Children throughout Reception and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting the sounds in a given word to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write ‘tricky words’ also known as ‘sight words.’ These are words that you cannot sound out and children are just expected to remember how to read and write.
Long term Planning Overview Nursery - Year 2
Key terms we use in our teaching:
Digraph – two letters make one sound (e.g. sh, ch, ai, ea, ou, ow).
Trigraph – three letters make one sound (e.g. igh, ear, air, ure).
Split digraph – two letters make one sound but the letters have been split apart by another letter. (e.g. the a - e sound in cape)
Phoneme – a single unit of sound
Grapheme – a written letter, or group of letter that represent a sound.
Consonants – b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
Blend – to put or merge the sounds together to make a word (e.g. the sounds d-o-g are blended to the word ‘dog’.)
Segment – to break down the word into its individual sounds to spell (e.g cat can be split into the sounds c-a-t.).
Sound buttons – ways of visually isolating different sounds in a word. We use a dot under letters where one letter makes one sound and a line understand digraphs or trigraphs.
Phonics Screening Test
Each year, all children in Year 1, in all schools, must take the phonics screening check. Some children in Year 2 are also required to take the screening check either because they did not take it in Year 1 or because their Year 1 score did not meet the required standard.
The check usually happens in June each year.
The check will be kept as low key and comfortable as possible for the children and will provide important information about their early reading development.
We hold a meeting to explain the basics of the screening check before it happens so please look out for the date. At the meeting we will show you examples of the kinds of words your child will need to read and give examples of how you can support your child at home before the screening takes place.
For more information the following link will take you to a website which explains things in more detail:
Useful Phonics Websites
A selection of interactive games for all phonic phases. Mostly simple games.
A great selection of games that link well with games in Letters and Sounds.
Printable resources for each of the Letters and Sounds phonic phases, also links to games aligned with each phase.
Letter names come up in alphabetical order.
Activities for all phases.
Phonic game with choice of difficulty (some HFWs, some vowel blends, very varied).
Make any words with this useful game.
Useful page which demonstrates pronunciation of all sounds.