What is phonics?
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out.
What materials do you use?
We use a variety of resources throughout the school to teach phonics, but Jolly Phonics is used as the initial phonic system. Jolly Phonics is a programme which teaches the phonemes using pictorial clues, rhyme, song and action. This multi-sensory approach helps children to embed the recognition, decoding and blending skills necessary for reading and writing.
How can we find out more to support our child?
Parents of Foundation Stage children are invited to a short meeting at the start of the year, to explain the teaching of phonics, so they can support and understand their child’s learning. Materials will be provided to support you as you help your child at home.
When will they start to learn phonics?
Within the first few weeks of school the children will start to learn the first set of Jolly Phonics on a daily basis. This is a short 20 minute lesson. The session is active, multi-sensory, fast paced and fun, with an opportunity to practice blending, segmenting and writing phonemes. During this session the children are also taught to read then write ‘tricky words’, which cannot be decoded using phonics.
What happens after their Foundation Year?
The children throughout the rest of the school are also taught either phonics or spelling patterns (depending at what phase level they are at) four mornings a week. These 20 minute sessions allow the children to access phonics or spellings at their own level. The children are grouped according to which Phonic Phase they are learning within and taught in small groups. At Phonic Phase 6, the children are moving onto spelling patterns and rules.
Do you only use one programme?
There are other phonic programmes which are used as teaching tools for children, including Read Write Inc, Nessy and Toe to Toe. Each are valuable and different children respond to the variety of strategies and approaches, they offer. In spelling we are trialling an interactive program, called the 'Spelling Shed'.
Is phonics only referred to during the Phonics and Spelling lesson?
In each classroom, there is a wealth of visual phonic resources which the children are encouraged to access to support their own reading and writing. Phonics and spelling patterns are integral to the teaching of reading and writing and will be referred to and taught in English lessons, Guided Reading and the wider curriculum.