WHAT IS PHONICS?
Phonics consists of teaching the skills of segmenting and blending, the alphabetic code and an understanding of how this is used in reading and spelling. Simply put, it is hearing the sounds in a word and writing them down to spell it correctly. When reading, it is sounding out a word and sticking the sounds back together to read the whole word.
WHAT WILL MY CHILD LEARN?
At St. Mary’s we follow the government recommended phonics programme Letters and Sounds. This programme 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, rigorous 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. Children begin with Letters and Sounds phase 1 in the early years and progress through to phase 6 in Year 2. The phonics curriculum aims to support children and help them to access the phonics screening test in Year 1, or Year 2 if needed.
Unsure how to say some of the sounds? Mr Thorne will help you: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7sW4j8p7k9D_qRRMUsGqyw
IS THERE A TEST?
Yes, there is a National Phonics Screening in Year 1 where the children have to read 20 real words and 20 ‘alien’ words. This is conducted in a very child-friendly way by the class teachers. At every parents evening you will be informed of your child’s progress in Phonics and at the end of Year 1 the school report will inform you if they have passed or not. If your child does not pass in Year 1 they will be given additional support throughout Year 2 to enable them to pass the next year.
IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO AT HOME TO HELP?
To ensure your child is regularly applying their phonics skills at home, please ensure that you read their reading books with them on a daily basis. Play tricky word games, phonic word games and sing nursery rhymes and songs. Read a range of books to your child to model good reading skills and develop a love of reading.
You can attend one of our phonics parent workshops or ask your child's teacher for more ideas and support.
We recommend the following apps and phonics websites: