Why teach Phonics?
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.
How do we teach Phonics?
We use a program called Letters and Sounds. The children are taught a daily phonics lesson every day. The session lasts for 20 minutes and is taught from Foundation Stage to Year 2. The children are taught using a teaching sequence as shown below.
Revisit and review
Practise previously learned phonemes and graphemes
Practice oral blending and segmenting
Teach a new grapheme
Teach blending and/or segmentation of phonemes in words
Practise reading and/or spelling with the new phoneme/grapheme
Read or write a caption/sentence using one or more high-frequency words and words containing the new phoneme/grapheme
What is segmenting and blending?
Segmenting consists of breaking words down into separate phonemes for example m-u-g. Segmenting supports children to spell unknown words. This in turn enables them to develop as a writer. Blending consists of building words from their separate phonemes for example mug. Blending supports children when they have to read unknown words. Watch the video on segmenting and blending.